Negotiation by Robert Ronnow

Negotiation

Chipmunks, squirrels collecting
bitternut hickory, chirping
against a small owl cruising
low beneath the trees.

Everyone has gone this morning
to school or work. Laundry rolling,
carpets vacuumed, cleaning
in the bathroom on my knees.

I’d like to be Whitman, praising
the pure contralto, Wynton practicing
all day. But like my father dying
I cannot hear what I cannot see.

Locally there’s politics, processing
points of view. Eventually coming
to a decision, building or not building
windmills on the sky, bridges in the sea.

Insignificant and mighty happenings
seem the same from my vantage ageing
gratefully, inexorably, planning
how to die in my own damn way.

by Robert Ronnow

Editor’s Note:¬†Formal or free verse? The clean stanzas and knees-see-sea rhyme suggests this is a formal poem, but the lack of meter suggests it’s free verse. Regardless, the last line is the gem that makes reading these lines worthwhile.

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