Mud Town

© Margaret Wesseling


We went to sleep

you and I in her bed

in your mother’s house.

Outside it rained and dogs

barked. In the discussion room

people were forceful and elegant.

I decided many futures, decided

to sleep longer.

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© Margaret Wesseling


Now I’m trying to go to sleep

and I don’t believe in you because you never answered

although somehow, like coffee, I couldn't stop praying.

Lord, could you please get Cristian some glasses

two years ago when he needed them

instead of punishing him for two years

and get Alfonso a father and Bernie a mother

and I don’t know what’s going on with Bertha

and sometimes, don’t care. More materials, God

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© Margaret Wesseling


How strange to think the human body—

how it mourns its own passing.

Frail bone lodge bound with blood

shoulders arc guarding throb, craving

then nothing left. We will be light

to light one day, flesh to dust.

Now the body shits and spits,

moves, talks. Seems apart from us,

seems one with us. Grew up with us.

Stage by stage we drag it after us

and who knows

what we will do


© Margaret Wesseling


Sun trees earth sky. Houses.

We live in this. In other

people. See a young guy

walk down the street

shoulders slumped face old

I don’t know why.

Old women scold.

Young women sneer in tight clothes

in clubs every night

until too fat or busy.


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Painted Desert

©Margaret Wesseling 

ripples of heat embrace

my arms and neck

the distance sends breezes


sun sprays off rock

dry country rolls

spills heat


these striped hills fade

an old etching

too full of light


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Van Gogh

© Margaret Wesseling

 What he knew from the beginning

was that the sun existed

and without the sun, nothing else.

Things could get confused in a storm:

clouds walking down the fields,

ditch mud backed up through turf.

He drew the forms light shows you:

a naked woman—a candlestick.

Then he saw he needed more.

He needed light's hand, needed color's

touch. He walked south. But the

sunflower fists turned green after all

with envy. He died

unable to paint the hand that drew him.



© Margaret Wesseling 2020

Step out
even though it's still cold
and the water tears your feet.

Never mind the blanket.
Leave the blanket inside.
Maybe you need it
you think you need it

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And all the women

© Margaret Wesseling 2021

And all the women get together
and sew up a phone list
and weave copies for everybody on the loom
and pass them around

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© Margaret Wesseling 2021


The thing is
there aren't many poems about smoking.
I can't think of one.

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