Parents have heard it all before
but for the child it’s new:
the bull who lost his credit card,
the clock thrown out the window,
the newspaper that’s black and white
and red all over. Who among us
hasn’t wanted to toss the alarm,
go back to bed, let the appointment, the test,
the dreary job go on without us?
Pour the morning coffee, open the paper, and
read about the wounded zebra, the nun
who met with an accident. Was that the same bull
who so famously visited the china shop?
Someone knocks. You go to the door and
there are your old friends, Sam and Janet
Evening. Everyone but the cop on the corner
knows what pennies are made of.
This is a world where traffic lights are
red because they have to change in public.
A world in which you can only go half-way
into the woods. A world where you didn’t
receive my letter because I forgot to
stamp it. Here, dear reader, you must stamp
hard, on your own foot.
Meryl Stratford has studied with Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Diane Di Prima and Carolyn Forche, Her chapbook, The Magicianís Daughter is the winner of the Ninth Annual YellowJacket Press Chapbook Contest for Florida Poets.