Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Practical English In Three Volumes

[to Funk and Wagnalls]

practical English in three volumes
stared out the bookshop window
where it was always raining.

practical English was a little wistful;
missing always its fistful of diamonds;
consigned to bargain, clearance corners.

how it longed to go across the street
in the slipshod weather and go eat a hamburger,
the old fashoned kind,

with just enough pickle and onion
to give one sustenance in the 1940s.
or automat lemon pie;

it's enough to make one sigh:
admirably dreamed, thought practical English,
tempted to waste reams of paper,gold limned,

if only one weren't so hungry.
please God may the poets not show up
to browse today.

let there be an eccentric, rich collector
who will place me, just so,
next to a first edition of

Hans Christian Andersen
with a frontpiece tissue guard;
near a fine bouquet of april flowers

with the mastiff tied up in the yard.

where life is not so hard;
where mama holds onto the chocolate stained
and keeps one out of the rain,

from nursery school refrains and
the dog eared disappearing.

oh, let me count the hours...
separated by commas.
or semi-precious semicolons-

(in case there's chiming).

mary angela douglas 4 may 2016