by Zachary Michael Jack
Newlyweds: every night squatters
at our door, soliciting
something new: stick
of butter, spot of milk, screw driver.
They’re so cute together; sometimes,
they look like twins, batteries not included.
“Never believe labels,” we tell them.
“Use everything you have…twice. Be frugal, please
call us if you need anything.”
Next night: they do, say
What was that pee-in-place-
-of-battery-acid trick again?
Could they borrow the Morton
salt shaker I swapped in as a pawn
to checkmate the boy genius across the complex?
Put the kid in his place, I say. Glory days!
They’re here again, so sweet
we can’t refuse them:
My broad back for their petition
signings; my Love’s strong hands for their
late-night peanut butter jar openings, both
our big toes for a makeshift handy-man
doorstop, once, my left foot
to model their new mail-order thongs.
“What’s ours is yours,” we say, always and kindly
offering them a chair.
Zachary Michael Jack is the author of many books on the power of place, including, most recently, The Haunt of Home: A Journey through America's Heartland.