SPOTLIGHT: Dollar Store Blues- and other cheap poems by Richard LeDue

-26 Friday Morning

Dark winter mornings don’t have to make sense
nowadays- forcing yourself to wake up,
throw off a blanket bought at a store
that doesn’t even exist anymore,
while thoughts about emails, dress code politics,
office Christmas parties seem a bit out of place
among windchill warnings,
wolf advisories, the drone of a skidoo
under a cold, dark, indifferent night sky,
all leading to a 6:45 AM shower,
dressing for work, practising professional smiles,
and hoping to go mostly unnoticed
under the fluorescent lit day.

Waking Up Before the Alarm Clock

Falling asleep
with my eyes open
is becoming easier,
but am I still
losing a staring contest
with thin air,
especially as sunshine waits
holding a dead bird in its mouth
as a gift for me?

Those Moments in the Morning, Before Fully Waking Up

Darkness asleep next to the cold air,
left more empty by night’s promise
of rest, and the click of a light switch
hurts eyes, more comfortable
doing a dream dance-
a kind of cognitive striptease
that seduces a mind
into flirting with the idea of how day
shift just a shadow to living,
while fluorescent lights
illuminate how many of us sleepwalk
through Monday to Friday,
but living the dream their parents
used to tell bedtime stories about,
as if 9-5 a kind of morality
that could save anyone’s soul.

Another Day Arriving to Work on Time

I drink too much coffee
and sometimes I think of my esophagus,
stained and burned
by early mornings
fuelled by late nights,
leaving me feeling hollow as heavy eyes
descending without knowing
there isn’t much further to go-
the perceived fall actually more of atrip,
metaphorical bruised toe
holding in tears of blood
because crying is better in the dark
when everyone else is asleep.

Facsimile Monster Tracks

Footprints in the snow
misshaped by the spring thaw,
turn into facsimile monster tracks,
and winter boots put away
in the closet, like a boogeyman
we’ve grown into,
only for it all to be ruined
by fresh snow (out of season),
burying thoughts of ourselves
being more than we are, and
forcing us to admit defeat
from snowflakes.

The Surrender

How much is a white flag worth?
Especially to the winners,
looking for souvenirs to take home,
so they can prove their victory
when arguing at a kitchen table with ghosts,
who lied about their ages
before being killed,
and there’s no shortage of black ink,
filling in letters that immortalize their deaths
more than anything I’ve ever written.


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