At the 7-Eleven

Long line. He will get there before me.
Swing past the aisle. Don’t hesitate.
Make good time and beat him–quick!
Silver cylinder slung,
air in a can hung…
tube in his nose?
Eye meets eye.
–back up–
slow.

{This is for the prompt at Real Toads–Fussy Little Forms:Nonet. The nonet is 9 lines in a pattern of descending syllables. 9,8,7…1. These little forms are so much fun. This one is based on a personal experience about a month ago.}

Gray {a haibun}

Weekday mornings are cold. I need to trick myself into exposing skin to air. I am  mindful. Every inch of me is aware. Warm. Quiet. Still.

Behind the closed blinds, there is gray light. I tell myself it’s good to be comfortable. I allow myself to be absorbed. I can close my eyes. But when the gray light brightens, it’s over. That’s the time the cats want their breakfast. Life calls.

The kitchen is in shadow and the floor is cool. I stoop to open the cupboard beneath the window. The cats run in to the farthest corner of the dark cupboard as I scoop the food. I fill a mug of water for my coffee. I leave the cupboard door open so they can run out. Cat noses are soon buried in bowls. And while I wait for my water to heat I water the basil plant. Every day I turn it just a little so that all the leaves have a chance to face the sun.

I almost stumble–
two beggar cats underfoot,
a good gray morning

{It took me a few days to find the right moment to write about this topic. I have mixed feelings about mornings lately. This haibun is for the Good Morning! dVerse prompt.}

Eviction {a Sestina}

Are you sleeping? Waves are washing over
our home and the cat’s run out. A dead wind
is knocking at our front door. Is it real?
Is it right? Should we look to fight?
You can froth and fret. This is not your home,
said the wind to us that night in a storm

that gouged like a battered dog’s bite. A storm
that warped the walls we painted over,
left stains that must be hidden. Sell our home
to the highest bidder. Never mind wind–
wind that mocks, wind that’s calling us to fight.
Nothing can be lost here; nothing’s real-

estate worth our salt tears. What is real
(we’re told) cannot be bought or sold. The storm
within our soul is willing us to fight.
Fear of an evictionit’s all an over-
sight, the wind groans. The wind
speaks as if it were master of this home,

as if aware of its might. Call it home.
Now neighbors gather, witness what is real.
Not all storms announce themselves, declares the wind,
as we sleep in unmade beds, as the storm
rattles frames and photos and rages over-
head. Be still, the wind advises. We fight

no more. The weeds are thick. We cannot fight
them (growing lush as they are). And our home
surrounded– rain after rain pouring over.
And we recite hope– a hope that is real.
And we invent a way to tell if the storm
has moved away (waves agreeing with the wind):

Sun will dry the weeds. Cool will be the wind.
And we will rest our heads, never to fight
again. An inheritance to bear. And the storm
is still about. Never dying, always dead. Home
is a curio with glass. We display what is real.
We leave the candles always lit, even when it’s over.

Watch for the storm, says the wind.
Be ready to fight, says the rain.
We are real. And the waves wash over our home.

{Inspired by Matthew 8:23-27 and, unfortunately, a few real-life events.}

I am linking this poem on the Tuesday Platform at Real Toads today.