Every day the sky is a bit farther off.
The waves by our place at the shore
Lack the crispness they once had.
There is always less to eat.
We still have husbands and wives,
Make children, mend fences,
Tend gardens, darn clothes,
Marvel at window glass.
I watched a man fishing in a swimming pool.
We are still unafraid to try new things.
We no longer keep pets.
Barter has replaced hard currency.
Each of us creates our own prices,
Shops around to establish the customary rate.
There is no lack of advice. Any neighbor
Will tell you when you have been taken advantage of.
Our hope sits by the fireplace
Hoping we will build a fire.
Wood is scarce, and burns quickly,
Its cellulose going slack in our developing circumstance.
No matter how much hope whines
We simply share each other’s close company
Until the first of the heavy
Brown snow tatters in from the loosened North.
Schedule and prediction are dear to us.
We learned calendars can be recycled.
At first, we had the whole set right
And all the numbers matched. Now
It keeps the order of the months, nothing more.
We use the moon for accuracy,
The calendar for nomenclature,
And dream against its fanciful pictures.
Time to fish.
Time to salt.
Time to hunt.
Time to weave.
Time to forage.
Time to repair.
How simple our lives have gotten,
How less trivial. You would not recognize
Yourself in us.
Yesterday I met a stranger.
Was that so bold in your time?
Ken Poyner’s latest collection of short fiction, “Constant Animals”, and his collection of surprising poetry, “Victims of a Failed Civics”, can be obtained from Barking Moose Press, at http://www.barkingmoosepress.com, or http://www.amazon.com, or http://www.sundialbooks.net. He often serves as bewildering eye-candy at his wife’s power lifting affairs. His poetry of late has been in “Analog”, “Asimov’s”, “Poet Lore”, “The Kentucky Review”; and his fiction has yowled in “Spank the Carp”, “Red Truck”, “Café Irreal”, “Bellows American Review”.