Poems from Wednesday after Lunch

Free samples! These are the last two poems in the book. Hard to get all the line breaks in this space, but the words are all there. If you want to contact me, I’m at wmwalker@earthlink.net

HAPPINESS

Usually it’s simple, like today
when you find a small brown feather
with muted, rising white stripes while walking at the beach.
You bring it home in your sunglasses case
and prop it up on the upper shelf of her compact wooden desk,
behind the starfish dried in the shape of a camel.

You’ve washed the dishes and they’re stacked
in the rack by the sink like smooth stones
in a jar. The house is filled with the sweet
smell of her cooking. You open a bottle of red wine
and pour two glasses, then walk down the hall
at dusk as the pale green paint on the walls

fades to gray. In a moment your heart overflows
as brightly as the last hour of sunlight gilding
the eaves of apartment buildings in your neighborhood,
suddenly striking in their elegant silence. This,
it turns out, is all you’ve ever wanted.

WEDNESDAY AFTER LUNCH

The pain in my head stops me on the street.
This could be it, I think, this spot of sun
on the northwest corner of Page and Masonic,

by the brick building the color of nicotine stains,
next to the nameless tree with the dusty green leaves
like bamboo, right here on this sidewalk

with its gray patchwork of workaday concrete.
No last words past See you after lunch to my wife,
and then I’ll have the Cobb salad, and Thank you.

The light now seems bright enough to live by for one
last instant, and aneurysm an intimate new thought.
Then, like a cop car speeding by with a single siren beep,

my private moment of emergency is gone.
As the light turns green again, I take
one more cautious step, and then another.

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