What Can I Add to What Is? [Poetry]

This is a poem by Lois Marie Harrod.

That day the marshmallow peep hovered

over our votary candles, a Holy Sprite,

with sugar crystals dangling from her brow

like tiny sweat dice,

we were playing a new parlor game

from polar regions—

change one letter,  you said icily

and average became overage—

nothing left of marriage 

but the wrecked carriage that wrought us here.

On cue, wheel became heel,

door a boor, rash a dash.

The dog was another natter

since the average age of a pug 

is twelve to fifteen years

and for the last decade ours had been a rug

gracing our deck or living room 

depending on the sun.

Oh, the lives, the lies of loves and livers—

gods, dogs, confections of doves—

but better you here, my dear,

that than the Californian musician 

who became a desert

after he married my sister—

Sonoran not snoring,

desert not dessert,

her antic and always angry


Seems he didn’t like the way 

she accompanied 

his Poulenc’s Flute Sonata 

and toplofty left.

Lois Marie Harrod’s 17th collection Woman is forthcoming from Blue Lyra in February 2020. Her Nightmares of the Minor Poet appeared in June 2016 from Five Oaks; her chapbook And She Took the Heart appeared in January 2016; Fragments from the Biography of Nemesis (Cherry Grove Press) and the chapbook How Marlene Mae Longs for Truth (Dancing Girl Press) appeared in 2013. A Dodge poet, she is published in literary journals and online ezines from American Poetry Review to Zone 3. She teaches at the Evergreen Forum in Princeton and at The College of New Jersey. Link to her online work is found on www.loismarieharrod.org.


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