The Colgate Scene
May 2004

The poet returns

Salt of the Earth

The afternoon light warms
the vinyl stools and gives
shadows to every speck of dirt.
You call that acting?
That ain't no proper way
to behave. "Talk of fame, honour,
pleasure, wealth, all are dirt compared
to affection," and Darwin knows
how dirt forms. The angular
front window juts into the street --
the light shows its pocks
and streaks. I flick the salt
from my cup, 2 cubicle grains
the light births. A mineral is a house
that light can enter.
We call this, the dirt
on the counter, the trash on the floor,
seeing in the daytime.
Ruthie's not here. You're stuck
with me. Just tea?
Do we make the rules?
Just how aforedetermined,
angle of window to source.

Atoms of antimatter in which charges
are reversed from how they appear
in nature exist! No doubt
someone long ago, in an amendment
to an essay on dew or in an appendix
to a volume
on naval timber, remarked incidentally
that the opposite of what is
must be. Azurite, say, heraldic,
unclouded, frequently malformed.
It's not nice to borrow
money from other customers. What
would Mother Nature say?
He was a bit of a social misfit
but always friendly.

© Jennifer Kietzman 2004

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