Fuck the Politics

2

Driving crosstown, back home,
I realize I want a new history, a house
where everything happens the way I want:
an evening thunderstorm
that hatches light just in time
for a darling sunset; and no more crows
in a funeral procession, snacking
down the street; no more hawks
swooping low through my woods;
no more snatch of doom.

There, everything will be better,
even the address number: 4509.
And the wisteria will climb the mailbox
post and stop only for the hand
of the postman who knows all
the local history: when Marta
canes by on her daily walk,
when the birdbaths choke
with dust, when Monty
washes his car in the street.

And the mall will be the proper distance,
and the new big Kroger only miles away.
No more tyranny of chaos, no more
trees collapsing in the hurricane dark, no more
moles nosing their way up my arteries.
And when I call for the doctor, he’ll be here
in seconds, as the tumblers click open
even the most stubborn intersection.

I’ve always wanted to live with the brick walkways,
the cobbled streets, and all the stoops bedazzled
with flowers by Stan, who knows
his begonias, his potted ferns, and when
to trim the roses so they blossom
at my waist where I carry their thorns
as a casual defense and their flowers
as the hope of the world.

I’m not alone here, and when we call
the neighborhood to order, everything hops to,
only to pass out splendidly in the backyard,
only to awaken to the night evaporating like dew
into various dawns that bound over the horizon
as a multiple choice question with no wrong answer.

Every morning I choose C, and I’m never disappointed,
as Daisy waves to me from her porch across the way,
dressed for whatever weather grazes across the radar
and saying, “Fuck the politics, Pete. Fuck the politics
and those right-wing bastards. That’s not what this is all about.”

And she starts up her petite crown of a sprinkler
on her patch of front lawn, and we raise our coffee mugs
to each other and across our shady street
where Tim, sure enough, comes with his herd of sheep
baaing to market, hoofing it like clockwork.

Mailbox and Flowers

Photo used under CC.

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About Author

Pete Follansbee has his MFA in Poetry from The University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His poems have appeared in The North American Review, The Iowa Journal of Literary Studies, Pavement magazine, and The Georgetown Review (a poem which won honorable mention in their annual contest). Most recently his poem, “Rug,” was a finalist in The New Guard Review’s Knightsville Poetry Contest; it will appear in The New Guard, Vol VI this coming spring or early summer, 2017. After growing up in New England and living in Iowa for five years, Pete now lives and teaches in Richmond, Virginia.

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