by Frederick Wilbur

Too praising, you could sabotage this poem,
finely wrought, keenly carved, hand thrown, the kind
crafted perhaps with an imperfect eye
but regardless, is what must be signed.

Words are bouqueted into many cares,
convention and taboo spar throughout the text,
are gladiators to a stalemate, a pardon
a forgiveness which wears me out, vexed

by how your drums have dreamed
their cadences not like grace notes nailed
to the board fences of a storybook farm,
where prose grazes for hay yet bailed.

Give me your griefs, they are passwords
to where I’m going. Camouflaged despair
is the edge of our lives, like barn roofs
showing maps of rust, ragged beyond repair.