LIKE SCHOOLS OF BAIT FISH
Thunderclaps followed flashes last night,
springtime again in the Midwest.
We ache and torment all winter long for this.
Will we waste another summer?
The sky revises itself each morning
into the last authentic poem.
It is gray and windy, rain subsiding.
Low, fast-moving clouds
remind me of the speed of blimps.
Pine trees in the gusts acknowledge my thoughts,
bob and weave like bantamweights.
The inhabitants of cars, trucks, buses
that stream the interstates
miss everything, too busy going nowhere.
Groups of birds in the barely budding trees
burst in unison to other trees and back again.
They cut through wind like schools of bait fish
afraid of being left alone, defenseless.
A robin quickly scoots across wet grass
to some mulch around a newly planted tree.
Motionless it waits, cocks its head,
senses the minuscule vibration of a snack.
Attacks with its beak, hops along to new ground.
The sky perks up despite world crisis after world crisis.
On the tube, politicians with faces of bravado
feign control and understanding
though everyone knows they’re winging it.
Like escaped inmates, workers race
to the corner bars at quitting time,
cackle and guffaw away their hatred of place;
slice self-respect with loose intentions
until hell-spin of last call,
closing time, when barmaids lose their patience.
Come for me in the afternoon
after I’ve had my fill of coffee, scribbled last lines,
when the peak of the sun is blinding
and fear is an endless meadow in the wild wind.
Every night sparse neon reminds industrial towns
of their waste, how the other half might live.
Years from now we’ll wonder where the passion went
How we got so damn sick.
The rush of youth is a mocking giggle,
stained coffin of dreams and foolish insistence.
From first grief to earth, the camera rolls.
Miles of kindling for the pyre.
Sweet failures, the flames that kiss the moon.
By Barry Yeoman
Barry Yeoman is a poet from Springfield, Ohio, currently living and writing in London, Ohio. His work has appeared, or is forthcoming in Mission at Tenth, Common Ground Review, Right Hand Pointing, Crack the Spine, Harbinger Asylum, and Broad River Review, among other print and online journals. More of his work can be found at https://www.redfez.net/editArtworks.