Don't Let Your Baby Down


Looking for my hat before I go out.
Walking around the living room.
Finding it on my head.

Sounds of the garbage truck
starting and stopping.
Picking up dumpsters.
Hydrolic sounds. The lifting.
Pushing down the contents
into the truck bed. My dumpster
filled with rose canes
from pruning. Some
garbage, too.
Kitchen stuff.

The dumpster lid reads,
Garbage Only.
Each week I check to see
if they've emptied my dumpster
or left it because of some infraction
of mine, following the wrong rules--

for disobeying the lid.

Last night ICE agents rounded up
78 persons, mostly from Mexico
for deportation.

Eight minutes in the notebook.
90th day of the year.

Remember the impermanence.

When we can envision the death
of one we love, we are able to let go
of anger and reproachfulness.

We learn to love in a sweeter way
with those we love, to look after them
and make them happy.

Granola, blueberries, a broken-up half
of a chocolate chip cookie in my cereal.
Senator Chuck Schumer from New York--
his favorite food is breakfast cereal.
I read that in the New Yorker recently
in an article by Elizabeth Kolbert,
who has that book on extinctions.

The point? My cereal is delicious,
but I wanted oatmeal for Karen and I.
Almost drove to the store.
Arguing with myself that way.

Remember the assembly today? Karen asks.

Oh yeah, it's at the top of my schedule.

Your grand kids are Students of the Month.

Willie Nelson and Emmy Lou Harris sing
a slow, sad song, Highway 9, This old house
here by the store. Or, is it, by the spring?

Karen asks, Who's singing with Willie Nelson?

Emmy Lou Harris.

she says, opening the fridge. Don't put
something round on the top shelf.
Two limes rolled out and hit me.

I read these lines to Karen as she
eats her toast at the table where I'm writing.

All because of me, she says, laughing.

Well, lots, yes, I say looking again at the page.

I don't really want to empty the dishwasher
I say to myself, but if I do, I'll get
to listen to two or three more songs.
That's what happens.
Leonard Cohen and Jennifer Warnes,
one right after the other on the CD
Kevin made for me, For Jim in Mid-March.

There is still time to pot those black pines.
But now John Prine is singing Storm Windows.

Jim Bodeen
31 March 2017

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