Monday 11 November 2019

5 Poems by G. F. Boyer

A Toast to My Body

Here’s to this old suit of clothes,

sodden booze sponge, heavy house

of ill repute. Three cheers

for this aging carcass hung with meat:

fat giblets and muscle ropes,

spacious brainpan and addled homunculus.

Bravo for the bony framework, blood network,

relentless busywork of organs and cells:

the pump engine, the corpuscle abacus—

that sensible valentine of muscle and gristle.

Let’s hear it for the commodious belly,

its endless appetites and mindless devouring,

the dumb and driven animal of me.


One can falter

descending the stairs—

nude or otherwise.

One can be awk-

ward, be conquered,


One can fall. One can

risk it all, then


balustrades of balance,

palisades of pain.

One can hear

thoughts arise

from the base of the mind.

One can malign

or praise.

Living Color

Because you have more rods or cones than I,

somewhere over a stranger rainbow, might

a teal and cyan skunk waddle across a maroon lawn,

while your eerie cerise eyes are closed in sleep?

Worse, in some future universe, will my new be old

to you, and my white-hot your bone-cold?

My Last Failure

At Forest Park, a nurse

brings meds in pudding,

wields a pressure cuff

amid the blather of TVs.

Now that Mom doesn’t know

me, I think she might love me.

I don’t forget the set of her mouth

when I displeased her—

her eyes’ gray flash.

I remember her poised

to strike at my first failure.

Like the scraped plates

of poverty, I am empty.

Like a scorpion, I am barbed.


Mom thinks I’m her sister.

Of course I am. These days,

I’ll be anyone she needs.

Her lunch tray's abandoned—

bread drying to shells,

yellowed mashed potatoes.

Let us sit and read

Good Housekeeping, or watch

The Waltons on TV, while

she spoons vanilla pudding

into her hairbrush, intent

as if she were diapering a baby.


G. F. Boyer earned an MFA from the University of Washington. She is a retired teacher and editor of poetry and fiction. Her 2018 book, Missile Hymnal Amulet, is available from Amazon via FutureCycle Press:

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