Harmony and the Birds
Chickadees fluff outside the surgeon’s office
against a backdrop of dark pine and sky
where I imagine an owl sleeps
in a hollow dream of feathers.
The middle of this poem is missing,
the part where the poet reveals
something. Perhaps he longs to kiss
the silver chain around the gypsy’s ankle,
or marks x’s on the calendar
stopping at the date of his own death,
or slowly slices an over-ripe tomato
and remembers his mother’s hands.
The birds of course always come back.
It’s like one of those puzzles
we did as children, waiting
in the doctor's office, find what’s missing,
the hidden pictures in pages of a magazine.
Later, much later, a cardinal lands
on the iron back of a patio chair
outside my bedroom window.
Its beak opens and closes, opens
and closes. A song I can’t hear.
Yet I find myself opening
and closing my mouth in harmony.
Monday is Mulligan Stew
You say Monday after
the end of the world
is like a check engine light
coming on. We want
so much to ignore it.
I say do. I say
Monday is more
like mulligan stew.
I'll stoke the fire,
you pluck the hen.
Afterwards, we'll sing
about riding the rails,
then clean our nails
with splintered bones.
Jim Zola has worked in a warehouse, as a security guard, in a bookstore, as a teacher for Deaf children, as a toy designer for Fisher Price, and currently as a children's librarian. Published in many journals through the years, his publications include a chapbook -- The One Hundred Bones of Weather (Blue Pitcher Press) -- and a full length poetry collection -- What Glorious Possibilities (Aldrich Press). He currently lives in Greensboro, NC