After the text is a video with me reading the poem, followed by comments from poets Beth Weinstock and Steve Abbott. We met on May 17 for a Poetry Circle during which poets read poems — finished and unfinished — to the others and then comment with encouragement and criticism.

Want to attend an upcoming Poetry Circle? Register here:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUodOusrjwqHdJse_dsGT2oqcp1dTyJQM9L
(Note: Due to the intentional design of the Poetry Circle, you will be muted throughout the conversation among the pre-selected poets. There will be no opportunity for you to be audible.)

 

Now You Know

Before Shelby barked in the Zoom
Gogo was unaware of Shelby
— that he walks, sniffs, and pees.

Months ago,
I came home
(Back when I used to go away)
And through a handshake
A slight scent of Shelby
Lingered on my cuff
For Gogo to detect.

But today, Gogo heard.

Shelby’s unmistakable bark
Echoed through the Ethernet.
Gogo lifted her head
And barked in return.

Dogs bark at one another
Like birdsong in the morning
Relaying the reassuring report:
“All’s well over here, too.”

Shelby and Gogo, trading barks:
“Dogs over here, too.”

🦴

Before Louise toddled into the Zoom
Roger was unaware of Louise
— that she crawls, smiles, and pees.

Months ago,
Louise’s mother came to the office
(Back when we used to go to the office)
Carrying a frame
A photograph of Louise
On the credenza
Catching Roger’s glance.

But today, Roger saw.

Louise’s unmistakable joy
Echoed through the Ethernet.
Roger lifted his head
And smiled in return.

Humans smile at one another
Like birdsong in the morning
Relaying the reassuring report:
“All’s well over here, too.”

Roger and Louise, trading smiles:
“Humans over here, too.”

🍼

Will we return to the false act
Leaving home at home
Pretending “It’s just business here”?
Willfully ignoring that we all
Think
Care
Wonder
Love
Fear
Throughout the workday.

Will we accept that
Home is not a peculiar attribute
But an essential aspect of life?

Or will we try
To unsee and unhear
The smiles and barks?