Diane M. Laboda: Two Poems


We stand,
monuments to the tag-team match between
pond scum and Neanderthal. Slimy inside
contained in strong cellular wrap, like Mylar
around the Echo, Kevlar sails against the wind.

We operate
without an owner’s manual
by clinging to our parental models,
imitating their upright stance, uptight
upper lip, ingestion and exhaust systems.

We process
info-data in bytes and digest words
in stanzas, give feedback in tones
and orations and in shouts
and honks and bullets.

We hold
together strong diets of emoticons,
while washing down the unpalatable
with weak beer and fermented denial.
Rarely do we belch.

We frequently ambulate
far outside our comfort zone,
carrying our arms in a basket
and our manners on our back.
We never let them see our eyes.

On sun days we seek icons
to pleasure our synapses and wrap our
incomplete bone-sense with robes of star-shine
and forgiveness. On our last day we seek to rise
like the prayerful, hot-skinned Phoenix.



When these old bones finally give up
and scatter, taking my consciousness with them,
I will be bits and pieces, cells and neurons
shot about like stardust.
Will my bones miss their joining,
will my cells miss their bosom buddies,
my neurons their network of memories?

When these old bones give up
and scatter, there will be chaos for a while,
then enjoyment of freedom from crowding
into shoes, jeans, freedom from pain,
weather created creaking, incessant clicks,
pops and grinds, fondling by cold-handed
orthopedic gurus and mistresses of irradiation,
not to mention devices and props
and sleepless nights.

When these old bones reach heaven
they’ll surely party, dance, ice skate and climb.
They’ll live the life they were denied with me in tow.
They will look back to our childhood
and no longer wonder why we couldn’t
get it all together for dodge ball
or climbing the rope, no longer regret
being told ice skating wasn’t for us.
They will recall their inner tap-dancer
and know it wasn’t their fault.
It was mine. The klutzy girl-child, taller
than everyone, bookish, unpopular…
no wonder.

When these bones realize their freedom
and the possibilities of going-it on their own,
they will definitely get in line for a newer,
athletic type for their reincarnation.
Abandon the studious, sedentary poet
for a newer cross-country star or sky-diver.
They will run, each bit and molecule, away
from my form or anyone related.
And run fast.

© 2016 Diane M. Laboda

The Big Windows Review 7 (Spring 2016)