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Category: Tod Marshall

Honey Do

 

Soon this northern city will be just another aisle,

stacks of ketchup and racks of white blouses

 

within spitting distance. They invite you in,

say have a nice day, greeters charged to help

 

find what you’re looking for: just milk

and bread. Pay the plastic fee, slide a card,

 

and get to the list of chores. I’m pouring concrete

into many holes, letting it dry, trying to finish

 

before the first hard freeze, steel poles sticking

straight up.That pile of boards? Call it a fence.

from BugleFind more by Tod Marshall at the library

Copyright © 2014 Tod Marshall
Used with the permission of Canarium Books.

Yard Work

 

No apples on the Braeburn tree. Some years, they

do that, you say. Your father, the expert gardener,

told you so. I’m gloomy. I see portents, doom,

disaster. Our neighbor mows his lawn every third day.

His name is Gideon, and he claims that someone

named a lamp after him. Click goes the switch.

 

Start the mower: upside-down helicopter

chopping grass instead of sky. Meanwhile,

the pinwheel across the street, among daisies,

daffodils, and a towering sunflower, spins

like a turbine just before takeoff, passengers

fastening belts, actually listening to advice, learning

how to float on something that’s supposed to be a seat.

from BugleFind more by Tod Marshall at the library

Copyright © 2014 Tod Marshall
Used with the permission of Canarium Books.

The Catch

He drags a stringer of sunfish at dusk,

one fat bass at the end of nylon cord

looped through dirty gills, and slips by his mother

(watching TV) to fill the tub and dump

stiff fish afloat with shampoo bottles, soap,

and a bright yellow duck. What is hope?

A sharp tug that proves he chose the right jig?

A shore where only children shout? How big

a channel cat or bass might be? His damp clothes

dry on the towel rod. A hush replaces

dusk. He sleeps in a chair. His mother

cleans the tub. A family is hard scale

on which to weigh the keepers, a cutting board

covered with guts, a slit from gills to tail.

from Poetry Northwest 06.1 Spring & Summer 2011More by Tod Marshall from the library

Copyright © Tod Marshall
Used with the permission of the author
on behalf of Poetry Northwest.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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