by Tom Barlow
One conceals his grievances in a satchel
like a furtive meal he will eat while
everyone else sleeps. Another keeps hers
in the pocket of a winter coat;
she takes them out every morning and
pokes them with a long fingernail to see if
they still shows signs of life, and of course
they do. A third holds the six o'clock news
responsible and pelts the screen
with ping pong balls every night,
dodging the ricochets. Another
keeps her shovel sharp, since she buries
hers every afternoon only to find them
sitting there on her mantel in the evening
like tchotchkes from a train wreck.
The setting sun leaves grievances littered across
the landscape like discarded wedding bands.
Eventually we are all dragged across that
same ground, scarring it with our heel marks,
and the harder we dig in, the faster we go.
Tom Barlow is an Ohio author of poetry, short stories and novels. His work has appeared in journals including PlainSongs, Ekphrastic Review, Voicemail Poetry, Hobart, Tenemos, Redivider, The New York Quarterly, The Remington Review, and many more. See more at tombarlowauthor.com.