Out of the Fog

This morning came galloping
with a hot vengeance
after I had only three hours of sleep.
Oh, to roll time back,
make the hours a black umbrella.

Even the gas pump is impatient.
When I lift the nozzle and insert my card,
it demands, remove card quickly.
Or what? It will not blink its eyes,
hold me hostage in the sun’s yellow breath?

How I swell with fatigue, helplessness, anger
under the command of an one-armed soulless dictator.
I squeeze its metal tongue until my tank
and the creases in my palm are full with its salvia—
the smell of someone else’s money.

I release after hearing gas spill onto my feet.
The splashing taps me out of my drowsy fog.
It’s the same type of fog I found myself falling
into when you asked, “What does the poet mean?”
then answered.

Do not ruin poetry
with that question, coax with your interpretation.
Let your students open a poem
with sticky fingers and find their own way
with gummed words in their hands.

Let them crack it open like a raw egg,
prepare to their tastes,
tell you the rose is a woman.

Once I hurled a smooth stone upwards
and turned before the stone plunged its hard life
back into the earth.

I don’t know if it struck, woke
some sleeping desire, startled it into curiosity.
When I looked up,
morning and eggs and stone were the color of air.
I saw only blue dripping from the sky.

 

 

From Word Ghetto published by Bluelight Press.

 

 

About the Poet:
Loretta Diane Walker won the 2016 Phyllis Wheatley Book Award for poetry, for her collection, In This House. She is a five time Pushcart nominee. She has published three collections of poetry. Her manuscript Word Ghetto won the 2011 Bluelight Press Book Award. She teaches music in Odessa, Texas.  Loretta received a BME from Texas Tech University and earned a MA from The University of Texas of the Permian Basin.

 

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