Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Changing a Flat

I grew up believing the world was flat
Have you ever lived in southwestern Minnesota?
You changed my flat world and even more than that

You believed in me, despite my flaws, you didn't bat
Your eye, au contraire, you took me home in your Toyota
Still, I believed the world lay flat

And God would forsake a girl like me who spat
Out profanities and dismissed the Holy Roman rota
But you didn't give up and even more than that

You listened to me when I called to chat
At five in the morning, singing Molly O'Brien's Dakota
Wind, which is a world, I believe, that is flatter than flat

Babe you loved me, you loved me, I couldn't run from that
You shouted your love from the bridge of Mendota
You changed my flat world and even more than that

Let's grow old together, let's sit and get fat
We'll visit Mount Rushmore in South Dakota
And travel the world that's no longer flat
Because you changed my flat world and even more than that.

(I sent this villanelle in for A Prairie Home Companion's love poetry writing contest. I think Garrison was too wowed to read it. What do you think?)
Note to a Friend

I like to think about you
sitting at home, reading Joel or Corinthians
turning each thin sheet
down for the evening as you climb
into bed
as you climb into the ether
of dreams and desire

I like to think about you
stitching a quilt while
Too-Too and Rascal
climb on your squares
kneading their paws on
freshly stitched muslin
their claws catching and snagging
without care

I'd like to think you
were thinking of me, too
as I sit here empty
waiting for thoughts to fill
my head
and my keyboard
until they flood out onto the screen
making oodles of money
as editors climb over one
another in excitement to be the first
publisher of my next masterpiece.
Penny Caught

This penny wedged between the window sill and pane
Has been painted over twice.
I can tell because the paint's chipped and I see
Two layers: pink then minty green.
No one has opened the window
Since this room was converted
From a ritzy powder room in the 20s
And a lounging room with fainting divan
In the 40s.
Now it is a closet
Where I hang