• Kenneth Pobo

Four poems


WANDAWOOWOO LOUD

I’ve trained my face

to look calm, especially

when fraught. My last lover

said I’m peaceful. It’s funny

how people can stand inside

a volcano and not feel lava

on their feet. The louder we cry,

the closer Death comes—to comfort us,

to help us be quiet

for a long, long time.

WANDAWOOWOO BUYS A CLOCHE HAT FOR $1.99

My grandmother claimed her

cloche hat had magic powers. Grandfather

asked her for a dance,

proposed a month later. Magic?

Not really. A bad marriage

full of extended credit,

extended lies,

extended time

like soggy tuna fish.

The hat made her feel

in style.

She didn’t wear one to church,

Fearing she’d be judged a floozy,

cheap—judgment followed her

around like a dog. Sometimes

when everyone had fallen asleep,

she’d put it on—forks, pans,

and rubber gloves greeted her

in the kitchen—called her the life

of the party, grandfather snoring.

WANDAWOOWOO OUTDOORS

Poison ivy, I only have to breathe

where someone has mowed—

I’m bumps. Still,

I nurture seedlings, water when

July wilts. Blooms give ease,

a peace

that coaxes me to face

a mosquito’s barbed-wire proboscis,

a yellowjacket’s

underground hive--

“No Mercy”

written above the entrance.

WANDAWOOWOO TALKS TO A SPIDER

Pastor Clack calls

God a spider--many-legged

salvation creeps out

of my tub drain. Speaking of

lovers, some were part spider.

I’m good at busting out of webs.

My grade-school crush,

William, would kill spiders

just for fun. He ended up in a web

called a career. Spider,

we can be friends—at a distance.

We both want to survive. We build,

rebuild and wait.

Kenneth Pobo had a book of ekphrastic poems published in 2017 by Circling Rivers called Loplop in a Red City. Forthcoming from Clare Songbirds Publishing House is a book of his prose poems called The Antlantis Hit Parade. He teaches English and creative writing at Widener University. Today he is celebrating the blooming of his first-ever Tahitian Sunrise dahlia.


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