“Ice at Lincoln Lake No. 1” © Bonnie Matthews Brock


Winter isn’t waiting on you, you are waiting to die

First things first, get out of your own way
When the start of September cleaves the year in half
And winter begins to kick at the inside of her mother’s stomach wanting
          to be born
(August being the blonde mother on her last pregnancy
Smoking smoking smoking her skin away to couch leather
Cursing away at the Parking attendant for ticketing her red Chevy Blazer
Freckled with fleck of rust
I think the parking ticket is autumn
We pay for it in lives
We walk through the lives like so many leaves on the ground
They crunch under our feet as we pile them at the end of our driveway
          for pick up)

Get out of your own way, look around, and realize we are all dying if we
          haven’t already
And embalming doesn’t save any of the good parts for later
Just the skin and the face and the soul if we are lucky
But nobody knows if we are

Get out of your way, your own way, and get ready for winter
Or if you’d rather, death
If it’s worth making the distinction

Get out of your own way and stop asking people to vote
They will or they won’t independent of you
But they will never forget that you thought you were smarter than they
I counted every beautiful thing about November twice and it took me
          31 one years
I never counted a ballot

Get out of your own way and make way for last years ducklings who           dodged buckshot
And are flying south faster than Aryton Senna

Get out of your own way
The world doesn’t need you for anything but
Counting leaves and noticing the chill in the breeze
Closing your eyes and imagining yourself as the captain of the nautilus
Get out of your own way
and wait


John McDonough has been a teacher at Great Bay Charter School in New Hampshire for 3 years. He tells everyone something different about what he wants done with his dead body.

Bonnie Matthews Brock is a Florida-based photographer, as well as a school psychologist. Her images have been published in Ibbetson Street, The Somerville Times, Oddball Magazine, Beyond Words Literary Magazine, and Wild Roof Journal. Her work is archived at Harvard University, the University of Buffalo, and Poets House in NYC. Bonnie loves to capture, in images, a very wide range of subjects, and to learn and experiment with shooting and editing techniques.