Do not tell your I.T. guy
that you miss the aroma
of his decaying tooth.
Do not suggest that the light
illuminating Uncle’s bald spot
from the skylight window
has a less than sacred glow.
Though the shirttail cousin insists
on walking outdoors while he talks
or climbs into the cab
of his truck because everyone
else in the house is still asleep,
it will not mitigate his sadness
that the guy grinding precision
parts for the pharmaceutical
industry in the station next to him
died of the virus last Wednesday.
And don’t smile when the songwriter
mocking the stockpilers
of ammo tells you she’s got
not one gun but two.
Tom Daley’s poetry has appeared in North American Review, Harvard Review, Massachusetts Review, 32 Poems, Fence, Denver Quarterly, Crazyhorse, Prairie Schooner, Witness, and elsewhere. He is a recipient of the Dana Award in Poetry. FutureCycle Press published his collection of poetry, House You Cannot Reach—Poems in the Voice of My Mother and Other Poems. He leads writing workshops in the Boston area and online for poets and writers working in creative prose.
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