Tea Party

By Joanie Mackowski b. 1963 Joanie Mackowski
Ray Way, Thunderbird Homeagain,
                            Hugh and Mia Galore:
they enjoyed such conversational topics
                            as Mozart, tobacco, and four.

“Today’s peach boasts rare fuzz,” said Ray.
                            Bird added, “My mind is whale.”
Mia forgot her songbooks, but Hugh
                            said, “Let me embrace you all.”

Ray Way snagged Homeagain by the lapel
                            and fastened on Home’s left blue eye,
Mia saw Home’s green right eye unanchor
                            and wander away for the sky.

Then Ray, he let go of Home’s lapel,
                            and Ray let go of his ire,
and Ray let go the floor with his feet
                            to hover a bit on the air.

Hours ticked while oars pulled
                            over Lake Eekoutaheart.
The pelicans kept to their quiet perusals
                            of fishes, where the ripples teased apart.   

“Please heal my ruptured soul,” said Mia.
                            Ray cheered, “The half-life got lived.”
Thunder again, he just picked at his sweater
                            where the yarn and his arms unweaved.

“The sky, it must be adhesive,” said Mia,
                            “elsewise the pelicans would fall—”
Way, still floating, looked her cool in her eye:
                            “Feel my faulty heart: it’s full.”

“So tell me, do you wonder about the crackers
                            once you lock the pantry?”
“I know God when I wash my hands.”
                            “Nothing makes sense like entropy.”

“And the pelican, does it unloose its eggs
                            like snow, an unbreakable good?”
“And does love shape the snow to hope’s ellipses?
                            “Who warms the nest—who could?”

“What’s next when your own eyes won’t let you go?”
                            “But the clouds won’t let me fall.”
Hugh stood up and repeated, softly:
                            “Let me embrace you all.”

Source: Poetry (July 2006).


This poem originally appeared in the July 2006 issue of Poetry magazine

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July 2006
 Joanie  Mackowski


Joanie Mackowski’s collections of poems are The Zoo (2002) and View from a Temporary Window (2010). She received a BA from Wesleyan University, was a Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University, and received a PhD from the University of Missouri. A professor at Cornell University, she has worked as a French translator, a journalist in the San Francisco Bay Area, and a juggler. She is the winner of the 2003 Kate Tufts . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Friends & Enemies, Relationships

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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