Robert Lopez poem on Frost and Stevens

 

Waiting For the Day’s Mail

 

 

Waiting for the day’s mail

I occupy myself with minutia

 

My desk is impossibly cluttered

And I’ve been meaning to replace the lock

On the downstairs bathroom

Which has been broken for I don’t know how long now

 

The trouble is I’m no good with my hands

And replacing the lock is more difficult than it sounds

 

So I tackle the desk instead

 

Staplers, envelopes, keys,

Stamps, notebooks, brochure for a Bed & Breakfast in Cape May,

A calendar,

Receipts, bills, loose papers,

Rubber bands and four or five pens

Litter this desk

 

I put some of these things in the two drawers and otherwise reshuffle the deck

 

On its surface

 

This is unskilled labor

 

But there is something satisfying about the doing

And once completed

The having done

 

All of which brings Stevens and Frost to mind

How each dismissed the other’s work saying

Frost wrote about things

And Stevens bric-a-brac

 

The two brilliant doddering fools

They were both frightened of shadows

 

Surely as young men they interviewed God while walking through New England

And God answered each question with

A bird, a tree, a river

A pigeon-toed woman dancing barefoot

Her skirts purple, lavender, and gold

 

On the way home

Certainly the both of them knew better

 

***
Robert Lopez is the author of two novels, Part of the World and Kamby Bolongo Mean River, and a collection of short stories, Asunder, published this month by Dzanc Books.

Leave a Reply