WHAT TO DO WITH THE BRUTES
Greased piglets hotfooting a pen—
I’mma get em for ya daddy—
as they descend from our grasps,
freed from country sport. Children
were there to get dirty,
never to possess, abuse—
except for a few—
the ones I want to pen now,
the ones who knew play,
but leaned a cruel way
to feel the oar's favor.
I would take them all over the side
and feed them their ogre hearts turned terrible hydra.
Then, to groom them,
sweet as berried cream, yoke them
to my cart, and ask
Where is it that you call home?
They will think hard.
They will take me to see their best memories,
where no one brutalizes the garden, no one
chases you while you thrive, no one
in the chorus of gunslinger and thief
is caught in their own milling of mules
tethered to the creaking wheel.
GRATITUDE POEM WITH SWIMMING
I am thankful for the two-dollar avocado pool float
I bought for the big Friday moon, the last in forty.
The pit, a removable beach ball—
we need each other, Robert Creeley,
we mustn't resist. Go on
with your gambling and your hot dice breath.
Go on with your open rituals, too much
on the ocean for existing—
Tonight, I am David Berman of all poets,
and I want to remember this moon's animal servitude
for this right leg that spins me left,
most goalless through the trees, for the insects
holding each other's feet.
Laura Minor won the 2020 John Ciardi Poetry Prize. Her critically acclaimed debut book of poems, Flowers As Mind Control, is on University of Arkansas Press, 2022. She was also a finalist for the 2019 National Poetry Series and the winner of the 2019 ILA's Rita Dove Poetry Award.