John Casteen


In this which is the season of invented errands,
the least of tasks explains a drive along the smaller roads.
We live in two instincts: the one to make ready,
the other to rest, and wait. The baby was due
yesterday. I painted trim in the guest bath
and hunted squirrels with my cell phone on. The trees
are late this year and vivid, and we are one month
without rain. It does favors for our apples, this weather,
and for our gutters, which need mending. I have in mind
to use the stock I made for something in the freezer.

So: pearl onions, venison roast, parsnips, fennel bulb, thyme.
Laurie says the whole house smells meaty and I think
she means good. We talk about a trip we’ll take next fall,
we talk about auctions, we talk about fear of death.
The logic seems trimesterly and incomprehensible.
The baby’s room is ready, and aired out, and bright.
The garden is gone to seed and I am calling all over
for kind people I haven’t seen in years. They seem fine.
I’m thinking of my child’s introduction to this world,
or to its unambiguous, its relevant: sweet, sour, bitter, salt.

October 29, 2000


© 2008 Electronic Poetry Review