I am undone by the specter of war,
high-sounding as the words may be
they signal my inability to function,
walking around the house in nightgown,
socks, old slippers with bent toes,
and hurried meals of salad or a warmed-up
soup or peanut butter directly from the jar,
no bread, just one old spoon for hunger
cravings. I cannot understand how others
walk about, handle their jobs, shovel
their driveways, clean out the litter box.
I want control, a promise of tomorrow,
an end to bullies and their threats
and I am one of many, but for me
it is compulsion, I walk and look at people
at the school, the store, the service station
much as when my father died and evening
followed morning despite grief. I have
two eggs left and a slice of wholewheat bread
and half a tank of regular, it’s snowing
once again since dawn, five or six inches.
I wish for calm or tea with honey or an orgy
of impolitest screams, or tears, or anything.
(written in the Poconos before the war…)