Molly Tenenbaum


          I DIDN'T GET FAR

Only to the squirming on the path, gray-white, gray-white.

Only to hear a jogger say Must be a pet someone left.

Only thinking How can a rabbit sideways with a crooked neck and

     fleshed-shut eyes have an expression, sweet and curious, like a kid

     holding a paintbrush?

Only wondering, Should we call a vet, the city truck?

Only to keep walking past the historical orchard and the brick-faced

     treatment plant to the silver bridge craning the tracks.

Only to be suspended over the ocean, deep shake like scrap metal

     thunder hurled up through the legs when someone else steps on.

Only to see, Tide’s in, no sand for walking farther down.

Only hoping it wouldn’t be there coming back.

Only up again past gray-white flashes on a bramble-salal background.

Only from farther away it would have looked like bread,

     loaf set on the ground before leaves in a still life.

Only toward home, at a clip.

Only remembering Mom said she fell the other day, in her own house
     putting on her pants.

Only that Old Ladies, she has learned, should not have little rugs

     by their beds – the knots of the fringe make them trip.

Only aerobic and weight bearing.

Only on with the calcium, greens, Multi-, Complex.

Only to feel the day, air open from all sides, bright, the gooseberry

     buds fat as nuts.

Only rounding home to see a house, ka-boom, on the corner, backhoe

     tossing a roof panel down to break it up.


Copyright © 2002 Molly Tenenbaum.  All Rights Reserved.

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