My love is nothing like a fridge magnet:
She has more depth than breadth; she doesn’t cling;
She isn’t rendered useless when she’s wet;
She’s not a souvenir of anything.
Comparisons of her to flowers will
Be ultimately unconvincing; she’s
Unclear on what to do with chlorophyll
And rarely reproduces using bees.
My love has fewer legs than spiders do
And fewer teeth than almost every shark
And though she’ll weave a web ensnaring you,
She won’t drown if she’s left too long in park.
No tchotchke, blossom, bug, nor fish is she;
My love has proved immune to simile.
Look, I know this isn’t very good.
I wish I had the energy to care
Enough to craft this verse the way I should,
But that tank’s drier than my underwear,
Of which I’m prouder than I should admit
Since I’ve been years inside these big boy pants
And only rarely soil where I sit
Or smell like peers in Louis XIV’s France,
But childhood victories are extra sweet
And leave an aftertaste that’s hard to shake
And draws you in, in hopes you might repeat
That glorious feat, a thirst you’ll only slake
When aging’s unavoidable decay
Puts underpants at risk on Sonnet Day.
I have my father’s eyes (if not his hair)
And I’ve been told our “aspect” is the same
(By which they mean, I think, our underwear).
Don’t like my sense of humor? He’s to blame.
He wasn’t the inventor of these traits,
However: He had parents, too,
Who got them from their own folks, grands, and greats;
They’d see themselves today in things we do.
My father’s mother’s humor, strength, quick wit,
And creativity: He took a taste
And passed it on. I gladly snagged a bit;
It’s clear my children likewise have been graced.
The blood of Helen Johnson Collins runs
Through all our veins. (At least the lucky ones.)
Yesterday I said I have no words
And it was very quickly pointed out
That such a statement is what logic nerds
Would call an oxymoron. Without doubt,
I am possessed of words, which I then shared
(Oxymoronically, so good for you
For spotting that) in hopes I’d be compared
With Malcolm X because of my haiku.
Like Malcolm, any necessary means
Of protest will be willingly employed
By me, but passively: Disruptive scenes
In public I endeavor to avoid.
So, with humility, I’d like to say
Trump’s kidnap policy is not okay.
Fear of fatherhood was never
Something that bedeviled me.
Infants simply aren’t that clever!
I was sure they wouldn’t see
How grossly unprepared I was
To teach them how the world works.
The proof is in the pudding, ’cause
They’re grown-ups now, and rarely jerks.
I’m older, too, which means I’m wise,
So here’s the secret: Read ahead!
And when you’re stumped, be sure your lies
Are silly, so they go to bed
Still giggling at what you said.
They’ll still be laughing when you’re dead.
My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;
The sonnet’s recitation’s just begun
And forty rounds have flown; some friends are dead.
If hairs be wires— gunman fires still;
The students feel the first frisson of fright
As down the hall the bullets fly and kill–
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from each victim reeks
And music hath a far more pleasing sound
Than gilded lead that smacks the flesh it seeks.
My mistress drowns in blood upon the ground.
And yet, by heaven, mass shootings are rare;
To ban poor, blameless guns would not be fair.
“The next three words–you, read, will–set the tone
For what awaits you in the coming year.”
Twelve months to navigate with those alone
To guide and comfort me? Facebook, it’s clear,
Believes your influence, benign or ill,
Cannot be overstated; should I need
More proof–though, since it’s you, I doubt I will—
I’m sure to find it when I read my feed.
If skepticism dressed in khaki slacks
And running shoes, just those who know me well
Enough to find me in the used book stacks
I’m wont to haunt, our differences could tell.
It’s Facebook, after all, that thinks it’s true
That I will read their quiz, but that was you.