New Poem

Something I Needed

Dig deep, my husband says.
I look to him as subject because
I am empty. So I reach back to when

the writing came easy, when poems
fell like tree branches in a storm
and it was always raining.

Young and single, we started
when he asked me to dance
and I said yes.

Spinning on F&M’s pool table until 4 a.m.,
we ate alligator nuggets and Crawfish Monica
in the jazz of a crescent city.

Now, he dares me to make our suburbia poetic.
Yet I long for a time without prudence,
biting into beignets at the Café Du Monde.

Even as my son rejects a peanut butter sandwich,
the sandwich I stop writing the poem to make
I am flummoxed,

as if I couldn’t put my mind on something I needed,
so that everything I imagined to say
might be tethered to this rough tongue forever.

Copyright 2006 January G. O'Neil


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