Scattered Things

Before you read the poem, I would like to say hello to all the readers out there. I am honored to have this residency and to have the opportunity to share my work with you. I live in Kenosha, WI and have also lived in Madison, WI and La Crosse, WI. I was the Kenosha Poet Laureate from 2020 – 2022. I had a blast with that. Thank you! So, here is a poem I composed tonight.

by Joe Engel

Tonight, I see my life

sprouting throughout

my living room;

dust on the book shelf,

screen saver across my TV

bills on the coffee table choking

out the post cards

like weeds.

I remember waiting

for my moment

to give a speech

when a thought appeared

of a squirrel I saw that morning

thrown into the air

by the rear wheels of a truck.

Or, before I go to bed

that school yard thought

that we occasionally

swallow spiders in our sleep.

Some minds are like

the Buckingham palace;

hundreds of rooms to enter

and retrieve what they need,

all beds made

everything orderly,

polished, clean.

Sometimes, if you ask

me a question

it means you’ll watch

different expressions

tiptoe across my face

as I think.

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