Oddball Magazine’s Poetry Marathon Presents: Chris Warner

 

what happens

is,

a week or so later,

a man finds a piece
of pressure cooker shrapnel
stuck in the rolled-up cuff of his jeans,
Proctor Silex still legible on the partially melted plastic label;
another man finds a bent-in-half steel roofing nail
in the outside mesh pocket of his daughter’s bright pink Cinderella backpack;

a suspect lies bleeding, critical,
on life support in a city hospital
some thirty miles south of this quiet little town;
he’s not speaking,
or can’t;

his brother
lies cold,
in some life-sized metal morgue drawer—
location unknown;
theoretically, he was ‘unhappy here;’
theoretically, he was ‘a bad seed;’
he never said a word;

why,
the wisest of teachers say,
is not the most skillful question—
let go of analysis,
just notice what is;
come back to the breath
and keep breathing;

still, we all want to know,
we all seem to have an inbred need
for reason, for closure;
and we’re addicted to drama,
love most the arc of it, the frenzy,
then yearn for that definitive resolution;

there are
no answers
this fine sunny morning,
and, there may never be—
today,
or Monday,
or any other logical day;

we all keep going—
we wonder about a lover,
pick up the dry cleaning,
worry about our lawns, our investments,
and the fluctuations of the market;
we choose the latest pair of pretty shoes;
we forget, again, to call our neighbor,
or our sister;

we keep moving—
order a decaf latte
along with a pale yellow cake pop,
candy-coated with rainbow sprinkles;
and, already thumbing through,
already passing over
the full-four-color front-page story,
we wait in line to buy our weekly copy of the Sunday Times.

 

Chris Warner, graduate of the Harvard University School of Education (M.Ed., ’97), is the author of a micro-chapbook, Strokes (Mostly) in Silence, and her poem, “Engulfed” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Chris also teaches yoga, core strength, and meditation in West Boxford, MA, and currently leads the creative writing program for inmates at MCI Concord, medium security prison.

 

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