The Way It Is

I worry about the water coming
Through the roof but not through the faucet
I am the last of my line, I am allowed
These thoughts: I will change

My shoes, run the vacuum cleaner three, four
Times a day. What answers have been
Given have been unsatisfactory. Too smooth,
Just one edge where the pressed glass

Differs from the cut. Think of all
The trips to fabulous places, prizes handed
Out by women, indescribably beautiful—what
Words still work—and all the while the rain

Drops clink against the machine: it sighs, over
Worked, wickedly imagining the cross: four
Legs mark the spot. But that’s not the worst,
I have the passion of a cat—each morning,

Each day the stray bolts my garage: nothing
This way cometh. Even the cilantro is going
To seed. There will be more of it. Much more.
The end hasn’t even begun: I still think

The meat could be more rare.


Claudia Grinnell was born and raised in Germany. She now makes her home in Louisiana, where she teaches at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Her poems have appeared in various print and ezines, most recently in such places as Exquisite Corpse, Hayden's Ferry Review, New Orleans Review, Mudlark, Janus Head, and Blue Moon Review. Her first full-length book of poetry, Conditions Horizontal, was published by Missing Consonant Press in the Fall of 2001.  She is the 2005 recipient of the Louisiana Division of the Arts Fellowship as well as the associate editor of turnrow , a print publication affiliated with The University of Louisiana at Monroe.

Copyright © 2006 Claudia Grinnell