“balance” by Michael Mark

When God took Bruce at 30,
she sighed with relief.

Now her kids were safe.
God wouldn’t do that to her.

Then Michael had the crash.

And when her feet looked so bad
from wearing those pointy shoes –

What was she to do? Her store
was selling them like crazy –

she went for the operation
but the doctor forgot some pins.

A breeze, not a wind, has knocked her over.

On the beach she always finds four
or five perfect sand dollars.

Ken, her new husband, never
even gets two.

Those are her boys giving her extra
anniversary and Mother’s Day cards.

Her footprints in the wet sand are ugly.
She’s seen people point.

What is she supposed to do? Go backwards
and kick sand over them?

She can’t.
She won’t.

That’s what the waves are for.

* * *

Michael Mark is a hospice volunteer and long distance walker. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Diverse Voices Quarterly, Gargoyle Magazine, Gravel Literary Journal, Lost Coast Review, Rattle, Ray’s Road Review, San Pedro Review, Scapegoat Journal, Spillway, Tar River Poetry, Sugar House Review, and other nice places. His poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.


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