I shovel snow
from Cleveland front lawn
just to see green

crow’s breath
after caw hangs,
winter air

snow furrow cornfield,
old woman peering
in roadside mailbox

office windowsill
fly poised for flight
three months now

sakura petals fallen
she gathers them in small hands
spills them on soft breeze

Kerouac, we knock
your pickled bones together,
zen be-bop

America, more guns
than people, more bullets
than tears

it took 800 years
for Roman Empire’s fall —
they had no internet

first man to walk
on the moon has died,
his footprint still up there

cleaning my office
I find a faded article,
“cleaning your office”

between bright stars
and atoms inside I spin,
breath burning away


Copyright © 2004 by Ray McNiece. From Bone Orchard Conga (WordSmith Press, 4th Edition, 2004). Used with the permission of the poet.