Various and Sundry Poetry

I forget my manners

We’re not ready for this yet, me entering the house
as if I’ve been living here for ages, putting my feet
on the coffee table, helping myself to cold club soda
and crackers from the pantry, a wedge of Reggiano.
This is not the script we’d been writing, the long emails
and two-hour phone calls, breathing new words
into the room, breathing new hearts
into our hearts. There was talk, briefly, about an attic room
rental, something tidy like that, but no, we said, that feels
like not the track we want to ride on and too soon and all of that
careful footstepping you do when you’re realize
you are in fresh territory, a foreign country you actually
might want to move to, so you make the right agreements and take
precautions against a premature and overzealous desire,
keeping your affections confined to the page and the phone
and the bedroom.

But then, I can’t help it, I forget my manners,
see the new push mower on the front porch
and make a beeline, and like some scrubby new spouse
begin the zigzags on the lawn, already overdue for a trim, and don’t
think twice. Later, even worse, I spot the weeds, unruly and ecstatic,
and spend the last light of the day bent double at the hips, pulling,
returning the garden to the garden.

Though maybe I have broken no rules at all.
Maybe this is another betrothal.
The promise of level grass and liberated boxwood.
A summer evening singing with mosquitoes.
A reason to come in after the work is done,
sit together, drink cold water, kiss and hold hands
start again, say hello.