Thou Sayest

With winter came surprising deaths
and the predictable obituaries
of those closer to stone
than to breath.

The deepest snow does not ask the plow,
thou sayest.

Rope saved to hang himself,
a pack of leggy cards —
these secrets broke
from my neighbor’s chest of drawers
when he dropped
between a shovel and a pail of salt.

We watch them die until we die, thou sayest.

Parallel rows in the snow
from the unlifted feet of the old,
craters in the script of their signatures…

We only live so long with those we love,
thou sayest.

I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts,
my mother chirps at the bars of a keet cage,
Roll-a, bowl-a, ball-a-penny-a-pitch,
my father replies from his spot in the shade.

A bleached nurse praises
their joyful way
of counting back from a hundred.

They’re yours until you think they’re mine,
thou sayest.


  1. Love the way he plays with one of my childhood favorites, “I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts.” I have it in one of my own poems, but think I’ll have to edit it out because this poet, a major poet, probably used the line before i did!

      1. Thank you so much for answering me! I did not expect it from such a great author. I will soon be hitting the bookstore to pick up some of your books. Perhaps I shall write some more, and then, one day, find the courage to submit somewhere. Poetry is second only to water in my life. Many, many thanks again!

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