Happy first anniversary (in anticipation of your thirty ninth)
I don't have much time. I'm an important person to chickadees and mourning doves, whose feeder was smashed last night by a raccoon. Soon I'll be wielding duct tape, noticing the dew, wanting to bathe in it, hoping the awkwardness of yesterday (three instances of people talking with bear traps for mouths) never repeats itself and we all go forward as if to a party for a five year old who refuses to smash candy out of a burro. It's too cute, the burro, too real for him not to ask his mother, can I keep it, and when the other children cry, they're given lake front property, it works out, this is what I see for you, the working out. Think of the year behind you as a root or think of going to Spain and feeling sorry for bulls or don't think, this isn't the SATs, don't think but stay. Stay happy, honest, stay as tall as you are as long as you can using giraffes if you need to to see each other above the crowd. I have these moments when I realize I'm not breathing, my wife is never why I'm not breathing and always why I want to lick a human heart, remember that each of you is half of why your bed will sag toward the middle of being a boat and that you both will sag if you're lucky together, be lucky together and acquire in sagging more square footage to kiss and to hold. And always remember that I hate you for being so much closer than I am to where none of us ever get to go again - first look, first touch, first inadvertent brush of breath or hair, first time you turned over and looked at who was surprising you by how fully she was there.
About this Poem
"This poem was written for Elaina and Ash. Those are aliases for Betty and Veronica. Which are aliases for Gertrude and Alice. Come to think of it, I don't know who this poem was written for or who I am. But you, I know who you are. You're an amazing juggler. Look at all those chainsaws and neuroses and dreams you keep in the air."
Bob Hicok was born in 1960. His poetry collection This Clumsy Living (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2007) was awarded the 2008 Bobbitt Prize from the Library of Congress.
Date Published: 2013-12-13
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/happy-first-anniversary-anticipation-your-thirty-ninth