Poetry by Jael
by jael bietsch

We live in a blue house now, two
big trees, hedges in front of windows.
And the back yard is always
Autumn with leaves. We put up a swing.

I roast chickens and mash potatoes
in my kitchen. Everynight
I set the table after work. We must
remember to pray. (I pray
for rememberance).

In our house we ration affection
to morning and good bye and good night,
like piles of possessions:
his, hers and my
laundry. Wanting to give away
the putting away of it.

We have divided it all to this
here, now. Everything is in its right
place. Cinnamon-sugar in
a red shaker.

When I sleep it is to the wet grind
of the dishwasher churning soap
into my stoneware. The bump of the dryer
and the vaporizer breathing something
better into her air.

I can't remember the last time
I felt myself real. I can't remember
the last time I saw myself
in the mirror. And when I sleep,
he is still watching David Letterman.

In dreams I stand over them
while they sleep, making lists
of things to remember:
  her lunch and my glasses
  turn off the coffee
  blue pills for the headaches
  green pills to keep the others unborn
  not to be impatient, harsh or tired.

I wake when it is quiet
to put out the cat
and retuck my daugher. And again
to let in the cat, who cries
at my window like a lost child
" hey mama." I retuck my daughter.

When I pull out of bed again,
I add to my list to tell the doctor how
my shoulders ache and how my fingers hurt
from typing names and birthdates and salaries
eight hours to a day.
And I pray to remember the words.

And I pray that this day I will
push out of bed to yellow
trees and dusty sunshine.
And most of all, I pray
for the words.

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    ©: 1995 Jael Bietsch

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    March 8, 2000