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We’re Often Told


I have no idea why

A nice song comes to mind

And then another

It’s not for beatific sleep

Or a sweet disposition

Wakened first thing

By the telephone

It’s not because of bristly

Wind outside,

Blowing what fall colors

We have known

Off slender branches

That could have been clothed

A while longer, should

Nature have consulted me

Tired, cranky

Thinking so-and-so by so-and-so

And I mean me

It should be a gray and spiny

Day by all accounts

Gray and apathy

Yet pleasant lyrics

With their high notes come

My way, though I did not

Ask them to

Serenaded by the mariachis

I have made up in

A mind that will not quit

Drugged by caffeine,

Scarred over

Not so pretty if I ever was

An inside and an outside

Needing shelves

And somehow from the files

Arising from the folders

Made of neurons

There is

Something to listen to

The kind that has no hearing

Seeing a singer

Who’s not there

On stage in costume

For a minimal production

Of a bittersweet play,

Which is what I get

Shortly after waking

On a late-fall day

In Pennsylvania of the USA

Wherever you might be

Might be the same

Company across telepathy

Made by

The chief of surgery

Who’s had the job

Since there were eons

Needing mending

With a song


C L Couch



“Somebody to Watch Over Me” by Ira Gershwin, George Gershwin


Photo by Dmitriy K. on Unsplash

Kyiv, Украина