Lines Written on Nursery Wall

By Sandra Simonds Sandra Simonds
           You bring a stalk of bamboo
                       to the flu room.
                       Hot pink Buddha offers
           some bullet-like pills from his plastic
fingers. Oh high above the pecan
tree, my dead grandfather
  walks Basil and Maestro, our two
standard poodles. One’s beard is oily
  from the wheel
of brie he’s stolen from
the kitchen counter.

       The world works. Even from here.
                  I can hear the buzz
                  of machines, the clicks
                             of pens, the secretary’s
                                          repressed anger
                                         (bites the inside of her cheek),
                              the weird light of computer screens.

        The world works wonders: the cashier at
                       Kmart rings up
                another self-tanning lotion. She rings
                           up August, the ocean, a string
                             bikini on younger flesh. Nude on bronze.
                                       Saltwater fish.

                 The sand is piled high.
                          It makes a wave over the pecan tree.
                            Soon a tsunami will wash away the house, nursery.

                                        Nothing left but a palm frond,
                                        white long bone.

                      Goodbye dog, tree, grandfather
                      with your elk-tipped cane.

                      The world works
          but not today. Not for me. Fever and the walls
                      painted with sharks and starfish.

                                There is so much aqua, histamine.

                                           Buddha, bring me another
                                           slice of pineapple.

Source: Poetry (July/August 2010).


This poem originally appeared in the July/August 2010 issue of Poetry magazine

July/August 2010
 Sandra  Simonds


Sandra Simonds is the author of Warsaw Bikini (Bloof Books, 2008) and Mother Was a Tragic Girl (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2012). She is assistant professor of English and Humanities at Thomas University in Thomasville, Georgia.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Family & Ancestors, Social Commentaries, Cities & Urban Life

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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