Tag Archives: uncertainty

House of Cards

Flattened,
you stand back
to survey the damage–
you consider how long it took
to perfect those startling
and beautiful angles–
how long it took
to get them just right
so they could support
your next move.
You didn’t realize
the moments of triumph
would be so few and far between–
or that the between
was going to be so full
of uncertainty
and strong winds
there was no way
it could have held together.
So you pick up all those cards
and stuff them in your pocket.
You don’t have the energy
to rebuild what you know now
is only going to fall–
and right now
you don’t even have the heart
to cut — or shuffle the deck.

 

 

 

DeMaris
4-20-18

Haircut

He tried to pay me
that first time I cut his hair
and I said no—
no way—
said I was happy
to do something for him—
reminded him how much
he’d done for me.
And I found a twenty
in my purse the next day—
but since then
my dad just sits
in the chair on the patio—
closes his eyes
and crosses his arms
when its time for me
to spread the towel
over his shoulders
and cut away
the excess gray—
he knows that love
is the only currency
we’ll exchange—
and today we both know
that between this haircut
and the next
he’s going to have his heart
opened up for repairs
and someone else
will be making the cuts—
and I know both of us
are hoping
the surgeon’s hands
will be steadier than mine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
2-21-18

“Samson and Delilah” by Padovanino (1588-1649, Italy)

Precious Thing

The new
unwrapped gift
is in front of you.
It’s exactly
what you’ve wanted–
never dreamed
you’d possess.
You can’t decide
if it’s as functional
as it is beautiful
but if you put it to use
it might break
or be destroyed
by the number of hours
you expect it to work–
after all
it isn’t a toy
but something fine–
something fragile
something so rare
your instinct
is to put it high
on that shelf
you paid too much for
last year in Providence
and walk away.

 

 

 

DeMaris
12-6-17

Mind Reader

Where are you
you absent one
who knows
that now is when
I need something
large and warm
to crawl into
something like
an old quilt
with lots of color
and comfort
something marsupial
with a heartbeat
something easy
to get out of
when I’m weak
with uncertainty
and no sense
of direction
where are you
when I am lost
in dysfunction
no one can see—
where is the question
I need you to ask:
Are you okay?
And I won’t even
need to say no.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
8-15-17

“Woman with Red Umbrella” By T.C. Steele

Frayed

 

After all this time
you thought that love
might be floating
in the air between you—
might be settling
onto your skin
like a favorite
flannel shirt with
frayed edges so soft
you don’t want
to remove it for anything—
but maybe you don’t feel
the same to him
because he doesn’t seem
to want you
wrapped around him
in those photographs
he offers to the public eye
wearing that smile
you were certain
was meant only for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
8-7-17

“The Gleaner” by Jules Adolphe Breton, 1900

Telling the Truth

I believe him
when he says
I love you
in the mornings
and before
we go to sleep
in separate beds
in separate houses
because it feels true
and warm and holy
and because
I want to believe
everything else
he tells me too—
but there’s
someone else
who shares his bed
and she believes
that she’s the only one
who has his heart,
which sometimes
makes me wonder
if he hasn’t told her
the truth
because he isn’t sure
exactly what it is—
or how many varieties
and variations of love
it’s possible
to live with
before one of them
begins to feel
like a lie.

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
3-8-17