The bird is honestly the best part of this post. I love ghazals, but this one needs some work. This is why the Grind is good for me, and posting it on my blog is even better: it forces me to confront the fact that all poems start somewhere. "Ghazal for Grand Haven" is after the jump.
GHAZAL FROM GRAND HAVEN
The only lesson of my life has been mama’s: never put a man before your career—
now I live alone a few miles from freezing Lake Michigan. It feels like solitary
confinement, the mind scraping its own walls again and again, clattering
a tin mug against the bars of choices we make but don’t own. Solitary
babies squawk from their plastic boxes at the hospital across the street, good
for the planet but not good to themselves. Days trundle on, quiet as a solitary
tick of the clock. All day I weigh the choices already made in the dark, wonder
what a paycheck’s promise is for without steadies or siblings or a solitary
mouth to ask the question: how was your day. The chickadees taunt my cat
from the balcony, puffing themselves against the night. Each one solitary
in its unseen nest is up to something: its industry serves some bird god
we can’t see. Cait—linger in this moment. Work all night. Remain solitary.