The Problem with Progressives

glasses-crop-3

“The Problem with Progressives” by Sharon Rauenzahn

The problem with progressives, my husband said
Walking into the kitchen while I cooked
The problem with progressives, he said, is that
Don’t say it, I thought
Just don’t say it
Let it be unsaid
Don’t say we aren’t incremental enough
That we try to fix everything at once
That we are too pessimistic about people’s abilities
That we are too optimistic about government
Don’t say what you are thinking
That we let identity drive too much policy
That we have no sense of unity
That we want too much and understand too little
Just don’t say
What I know you are thinking
Married seventeen years, I can read your mind
The problem with progressives, my husband says
Pulling off his glasses, rubbing his eyes
He looks tired
I hope he likes this tofu curry
I’ve never made it before
I hope he doesn’t say
The problem with progressives, he says, is that
When you look at one thing with them
Everything else around it
Goes out of focus
I wish I’d gotten bi-focals instead, he says
I should have known he’d say that
That smells really good, he says
Is that tofu?
I wish I’d gotten the bi-focals, he said

February, 2017

Advertisements

Jumping out of Swings (for Esther R.)

boy-on-swing-crop
free stock photo via Pexels.com

“Jumping out of Swings” (for Esther R.)

When you jump out of a
Swing
Your stomach rises as you do
Hovers
As the sand
Hovers
Hanging below you
Then rushing up
Slow at first
Faster
Fast
If you’ve jumped high enough
Really leapt
Out over the playground
Higher than houses
Or airplanes
Then you come down hard
Into the
Sand
Rushing up
Swallowing your feet
Pressing up into your bent knees
Pulling your hands and face
Down into the sun-heated grit
Getting up again
Laughing the sand
Out of your
Mouth
Dusting the sand off your
Hard knees
Getting old is like that
Stomach not quite under control
The land rushing up
Slow at first
Faster
Fast
Not laughing so much now
As you cough the
Sand
Out of your mouth
Getting harder to stand back up
From the dust
Swallowing your feet

February 9, 2017