Sunday, October 2, 2022

Three Poems by Jeffrey Zable


You can't always bless what kills . . . 

"Why not?" asked the aardvark of the canary.

And just as the clock struck 7 the window opened
and the rain came pouring in, while I prayed it wouldn't
reach me in the tub, give me such shivers that I'd die
before I got the the towels on the shelf.

And with that I returned to my internal muttering
only to remember the time my neighbor banged on the door
while I was bathing.  "Let me in!" she yelled,
"I haven't a single lump of sugar and it's my last cup of coffee!"

"Mother isn't here!" I shouted back, and eventually she went away.

I rose from the tub, shook myself dry, and listened to the rain,
wondering if I'd make it through another day . . . 


Yes, it's raining Englishman and all I can say is that
I hope that one of them doesn't land on me, because
I completely forgot to put on some armor before leaving
the house, something I must remember to do as the world
has become such an unpredictable place that one must be 
ready for anything.  Speaking of which I was walking down
the street yesterday in a part of town that I'd never been before
when some guy stepped in front of me and said, "You've no
right to have all the money in the world when I have nothing.
Here I can't even buy a sliver of a corned beef sandwich while
you can buy the whole city if you wanted to!"  Telling him he's 
mistaken me for someone else -- maybe the guy who originally 
started that online bookstore -- I took out my coin purse and 
deposited all my change into his outstretched hand.  "That's more
like it!" he said in a voice that reminded me of my late father
who once commended me for reading the financial section
of the newspaper and reporting that I learned something new
which I'd one day be able to apply.  "Good to see that you're
taking the initiative!" he said with genuine enthusiasm 
before returning to the comics section of the newspaper . . . 

The Final Test

"No, mother, I would never put a chicken into a pot without plucking
it first!"

And as the world turns--mostly to dust--I recall that teacher who said
to our class, "Your identity will be 90% complete by the age of seven,
and for the rest of your days you will struggle to undo the trauma 
that beset you!"

With that, I asked, "Then why even bother living if that's all that one
has to look forward to?"

To which he smiled and replied, "That's entirely up to each of us to decide.
Now, are there any more questions before I hand out the final test?"

Jeffrey Zable is a teacher, conga/bongo drummer who plays for dance classes, rumbas, and Latin music gigs around the San Francisco Bay Area.  His poetry, flash fiction, and non-fiction has appeared in hundreds of literary magazines and anthologies, more recently in Locust Review, Once Upon a Crocodile Raw, Defuncted, Fleas on the Dog, Uppagus and many others . . . 

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