When the thermometer chooses zero
as its favorite number
and celebrates it for week,
I flash on tubers I forgot to dig up
to keep in the basement.
Two dahlias, Show ‘n Tell had been fabulous,
a red and yellow weave, Cameo Peach
pinked up the dead
spot where a hydrangea withered.
Tubers, like a letter to an Aunt
I meant to send. Then in the paper
the unexpected obituary.
about the Yellow Brick Road
in that silvery lame shirt
I used to wear to the disco
when midnight collected
brightly colored Easter
eggs of the dancers
and put us in time’s
basket that blew up
in our laps we found
our legs had become
backs craving lumbar
surgery we raggedly
agreed to get out
there one more time
our saggy asses off
before trudging back to
the Yellow Brick Road
now a gray path
tombstones on each side
bearing the names
of our best pals.
At my first concert Jackie De Shannon
opened for Neil Diamond. I went for Neil,
but the more she played, the more I had fun–
I bought her Jackie album and The Feel
Of Neil Diamond with my birthday money.
Jackie sang about Vanilla Olay—
I didn’t know what that was, some funny
concoction not for sale in our Shopway
Foods four blocks from our house in Villa Park.
Neil sang “Solitary Man” which offkey
me sang to myself in my dawn shower.
Even in burnt orange days when I’m dark
I listen to them, saved by melody
and chord–they color an overcast hour.
Kenneth Pobo has a book of prose poetry forthcoming from Clare Songbirds Publishing House called The Antlantis Hit Parade. His work has appeared in: Atlanta Review, Colorado Review, The Queer South Anthology, The Humanist, and elsewhere.