Robert Joe Stout, three poems


Single Parent

Kitchen rich with the smells

of coffee and honeydew melon,

hot steam iron

and last night's rain,

I lean against the counters

that my daughter has cleaned

and watch her

shake the blouse she's pressed,

inspect both front and back

and nod,

then, laughing

Gee, I'm late!

Can I get a ride to school?

The house accepts my presence

as I return, displace the silence

with my reading of the sports page,

nibbling toast,

rinsing dishes in the sink.

Little things

I still can hold

return my fingers' touch.

No Longer Young

On the prairies there are barren patches.

In the jungles thick and tangled growth.

Feelings come up through our roots

and flower, fester, tremble, curl

—a process that goes on, that we can't stop.