Gideon

Redacting army steals the language.
Spirit grinds wheat words into form,
distills the boastful syntax
from thousands to hundreds,
eliminating
modifiers
black alters
at night.
Fear.
Dream.
Compact
barley book
excoriates
the inner critic.
Desk lamp and radio
turn adjectives and adverbs
against each other and erase
the opposition of the blank page.

Be Still

Clotheslines encircle
the perimeter
of the housing jungle,
sidewalks connect
the cookie-cutter houses,
high voltage olive
drab cases
dot the landscape,
where
siblings scrutinize
the world of creeping ants, spiders, worms,
in the autumn grass.
Mom watches,
wishing
for a life growing
from the loam
of winter.


Previously published in the Missouri State Poetry Society’s Grist 2007 Anthology.