BOLTING THE DOOR, LOCKING THE GATE
When I came home for lunch the back door
stood ajar. Whose jar? Who other than me
has failed to pull it to? An empty jamb.
I expected burglar’s bedlam and
but my ersatz valuables remained
inviolate, no electronics in absentia,
all calm as Christmas Eve
but bright with noon, tidy in its
My place: open and unbarred
from vandals and the soldiers of Nanking,
Huns and Crusaders, Cossacks and SS,
me in my carelessness passed over
as unworthy—my paste jewels,
faux luck, pawn shop poems.
—from Rattle #36, Winter 2011