Poetry Issue 15

   Issue #17 : July-December 2012

John Labella



Ode for Crazy Tim


      Thunder is not a god heard
      in place of our need to burden clouds
      with speech.

      The road opens where we are, we have
      to open it. Off we go past cows
      to seek company in an old sports bar.

      The crazy Cajun comes up on screen;
      extra poundage
      makes him look believable now,

      more like us than thunder when he says,
      “Every fight is a story
      that has yet to be played out.”

      It’s hard to hear him; a guy complains
      his neighbor’s kids are
      “stealing the doggone fruit again.”

      We don’t like to be reminded here
      is also what’s out there.

      The herders drift, the drifters swarm.
      Out there climate’s a thing
      that just happens to mess with the yield;

      out there flailing bees
      do not know what a wasp knows.

      “I cannot train myself alone,” says Tim,
      “the bag does not hit back.”

      We can’t think of clouds, gods who
      grumble when our burdens
      lift our voices higher than they carry.

      In praise of need we hear the children
      (as though our own)
      call their names out into the field.