V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics





This is what will happen—
you will step from your cab—
& your dog
will be so excited
he will pee
on your new Italian shoes.
Your sister—a woman
with neither pets nor children
who you left
in  charge of both—
will weep she's so delighted
you are back
& soon she can go home.
Your three year old
will jump up
to hug you and knock
your glasses off.

This is what you'll hear—
your sister telling you
she mangled the front bumper
on your new car,
your daughter
asking what you brought her,
your son saying
he really really missed you,
the crunching sound
of the family dog eating
your bifocals.

& you will wish
you were back in Italy
at the film festival
watching silent movies.
You will have a strong
desire to stick your fingers
in your ears.

Don't. Instead
imagine you are Kate Bruce,
the kindly mother
in nearly every Griffith short.
Smile as only she could—
then open your arms wide
and welcome in
your life.

© by Jesse Lee Kercheval


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