© 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.


Unless you talk about it.

Unless, painful heart fire

happening seldom connect,

change things.



 You do what you think’s possible

in the space you set up for you.

Another might do something else

something more. You do what you see.

Ordinary things and people.

How they’re knit together.


It’s specific--the tree outside

my window, the wind, a pattern.

The wall beyond that

and the alley to the street.

A  boy walks there in new running shoes.

He’s going to see another boy,

play computer games. Cruel boy

cowardly cruel to dogs girls women.

Cruelty that stops at the first threat.

The boy will be occupied

for several hours. His mother is

waking up from her afternoon nap.

She yelled at him this morning.

Now it’s time to make dinner.

Her husband is cruel to her,

goes out with his friends,

cheats his customers.

She thinks it’s good

the boy learns to be cruel.

The world is like that

and he has to live here.


He tortures my dog.


One time someone came

back to the house who was

shuddering and startled.

She was so out

so left out so alone so old

and so on her own no one

could find her. She was

like a dust storm: no center

no way out. Only the wind

and phantoms.

She can only say

I don’t want you you don’t want me.

Like the alley walls.


Think about a place

away from it from the stupidities

a green hill I could walk up

all one morning




troubles me.

These faces, this work.

If I can spend an hour

or two dreaming

a break a return