Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What If Someone Changes The Arrow?

Path of Light
—Photo by Katy Brown, Davis

—Joyce Odam, Sacramento

They live in the arrow house. They have
pointy ways. When you come up their walk
you follow the chalk-drawn arrows
around the wet lawn to the door.

Their eyes smile in arrows;
framed arrows point down to chairs;
a furry one leads to the closet;
a dark hallway one to the bathroom door.

On the polished end tables,
suggestions of arrows stare at ashtrays
and coasters. Their rug is a large coiled oval
to center the conversation.

Nothing can confuse them;
they have put two diagonal barbs
on the end of every straight line
to mark every instance of themselves.

On the days of the calendar
they have made a tour of their lives
with little midnight arrows
making precise divisions between the days.

Never make jokes to them about getting lost
or taking little impulsive detours.
They would be offended—
these have no arrows.


—Joyce Odam

We would make trip after trip
in the wrong direction;
no one would be waiting;
we would not write home.

We would make trip after trip
for somewhere else to be—never
finding. Here we are—in a place
among places. Where are we?

first published in Lines Against Death
(Mini-Chap) by Joyce Odam


—Joyce Odam

the midnight cat slinks
through the yellow moonlight
trailing its enormous shadow
the white fence gleams
where the lane curves
the stars inspect the gravel
the late night warns
the sounds crunch
the slow moon loses its yellow
night smudges its dark,
rustles its leaves,
muffles the sounds that follow
the hushed leaves listen
the cat returns
dragging its ragged shadow


—Joyce Odam

To be set adrift in the boat,
the water lapping at the sides
and the companion sitting at the other end
comparing me all this time to its own silence . . .

and the thought of land, and the thought of sky,
and the turbulent depth—and to learn the motion
and sense of direction, and learn the patience
it takes, and never ask where we are going.


—Joyce Odam

in the shallow well
with all the bright pennies
and nickels
all year
with the laughter of sunlight
and the glower of winter shadows
the wish lies
with its potential
with its curious direction
and is
or is not granted


Today's LittleNip: 

—Joyce Odam

What if
someone changes
the arrow—stealing our
direction, while we ask, Which way?
Which way?

(first published in Poets Forum Magazine)



Our Seed of the Week is "Family Album". 
What's in YOUR family album? Uncle Ed the horse thief? 
Crystal, who had an abortion at 15? 
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