Monday, November 9, 2015

Three Poems by J.K. Durick


At some point the battery went dead
And it stopped, quarter to twelve now
It could have been midnight or noon
A clock like this one never says, just
Holds out its arms pointing to numbers
Like a type of crossing guard in charge
Of the time we spend, but now it's frozen
Forever fifteen minutes shy of twelve
It holds us in place, never sure noon or
Night, time has run out, stomped and
Starved, nowhere left to go, to work or
To meet someone, either way too early
Or late, it's a matter of time standing still
Short one double A battery, bullet sized
But more powerful, it stops us in our tracks
Powerless, a battery away from twelve
We sit and wait for the hour to finally strike.


It's that mid-point, centered, a non-tipping point
A safe place where the ends counter each other
And we step out like the Flying Wallendas, ready
To cross the day, without a net, or like one of those
Eastern European gymnasts strutting confidently
Along a beam, cameras and audience and medals
On the line; it's a careful place where all accounts
Square up and we reach equilibrium, are confident
Steady, ready to set out and be that mild mannered
Man or woman we always wanted to be, were
Always supposed to be; at first, it seems like learning
To ride a bicycle, learning to stay up, to stay steady,
Even after they let go and expect us to go on and on,
But we wobble and weave; after all, some of us learn
To balance and then there's some of us that never do.


After it blew itself out, the mood lightened
Brightened enough, like the light rain it left
To go outside and walk in the gentle rain

It left, a reminder of sorts, as we pick up
The branches and what's left of yesterday
Sometimes cause and effect works like this.

J.K. Durick is a writing teacher at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor.  His recent poems have appeared in Camel Saloon, Black Mirror, Poetry Pacific, Eye on Life Magazine, and Leaves of Ink.

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