Saturday, June 25, 2011

San Luis Obispo - June 25

My family is arrayed around the poker cards
And chips like the spokes of a wheel
In my sister-in-law's belly, my nephew kicks
Their voices rise and fall with bursts of laughter

I could be playing but instead I choose
To sit a bit apart in the golden circle
of lamplight shining on the black leather chair
and observe. I am watching and listening

To them, all together, this my family.
On the couch, my mother is reading her novel,
My father, the newspaper. Outside, frogs are singing
In the creek, now loud, now silent in fear of a skunk.

In my hand, a book of poems that I am crunching through
As quickly as potato chips or dreams or hopes
Reading and pausing and then reading again, I fold down
the corners of the pages even though the book isn't mine

But rather belongs to this house, this rented spot of
Vacation and gathering, a book that I will leave behind
When I go home in a few days, but still the pages of the best
Poems will be marked by me and within myself I will carry remnants

Of those poems and the thoughts that circled in my head this
Evening while I watched my family, so happily at play

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