If the world is ordered by accident,
Then every place and hour must give warning:
Donít come here, donít stay long, donít buy
Ė best rent
This house if doors wonít lock and the flooring
Is soft. And if you must plant flowers, find
The ugliest bulbs they sell in loose nets
And bury them in dirt nutrient-kind
Or mineral-stripped, then wait and lay bets
For iris, lily, glads, or if youíll stay
The season. A better life might just thumb
The mute doorbell or tap the weather-gray
Panes Ė solicitors for conveniences
Of magazines, cosmetics, religion,
Or fresh fruit for coldís common contagion.
In our town itís been drizzling for two weeks.
Squish. Standing pools cover lawns, slick leaf rot
On the porch steps and around the mailboxes, city
storm drains clog.
The sunís failed to get through all month, and the
Unwanted catalogues, and local circulars all are
Limp by the time people get home from work.
Next year there will be another Midwestern flood
To swell the rivers, erode banks, and turn acres of
crops into lakes.
Again, pets and sofas and cars float past street
Years of insidious silt to clean. Thereís nothing
like a crisis --
A drunken argument with the husband over the leaking
For instance, to make us forget again that our
parents never really loved
Nature doesnít love us either. But it does give
Even the trees know this. The heavy drizzle
condenses into beads
And runs off the leaves and branches in a thousand
The roots dig deeper into the sodden ground,
©Heather Burns, 2ooo