New Poem

Rough Country

Sweet Baby, I have imagined your death
every day since the day we met,
Some horrific tragedy that begins with me at work
getting the call. You're the victim:
the devil's plaything sandwiched between
the cabs of two tractor trailers,
fodder for rubberneckers
and a story for the evening news,
or a slip of the chainsaw while sawing wood,
or worse, an escaped convict finds the chainsaw
making you victim #1 in his murderous rampage.
Or maybe it's something simpler: salmonella,
falling through a sidewalk grate,
walking pneumonia (my personal favorite),
a piano falling out of the sky. And always
I am locked away in a moment of numbness
like smashing my thumb with a hammer,
the perpetual moment that never ends.
So, as our children sleep unaware in their room,
as I touch your strong, worn face,
kiss the lips I have kissed a thousand times,
my senses begin again to commit you to memory,
only to be reborn, back into the same rough country
weighing inside my brain like an anvil.

Copyright 2006 January G. O'Neil


Anonymous said…
I love this poem! The rough country metaphor is beautiful. I definitely relate to the poem's theme. And it makes me happy to know that I'm not crazy (or at least not alone in my crazyness!)
January said…
Thanks Christine. I think about things like that all the time. It's a wonder I ever leave the house!

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