Poor Excuse for Dreaming | Karen Keefe

Mario Wallner via Pexels

Who is the patron saint of a fool?
The gullible need a protector.
I figure this weakness in me
comes from that thing with my eyesight.
Seeing double
it’s hard to know what to focus on.

I should have listened to that Oh-oh sounding in my skull.
I came home on my birthday
To find a pretty face-stranger
to me
just a friend from work
to you,
in our house
here for supper.

Back then
in a time of run us over inflation
high unemployment
landlords lacking any mercy
we frequently shared supper
with friends and friends of friends.
But how

she knows where we keep the forks
why no surprise when she
asks you, “do you like the tablecloth I chose.”
My father shoots me a look.
I hold my breath
watch the show
and pray.

Risking all.
With you I always risked it all,
believed the best,
bet on our future happiness and
missed the signs.
Guess you always had an escape plan.
Did you always have an escape plan?

But what harm can come to us today?
This is a rare event,
there is even enough money to make a cake
and my brother is in town.

He is watching the show too, his hand in his pocket
tumbling his knife with his fingers
rocking on the balls of his feet.
My brother sees things straight.
He does not hesitate.

Seeing him
I do not hesitate anymore.
No one is looking at me.
I slip out the back door
and run
across the garden
to the shed.
Inside behind the potting bench
I find my wings.
Looking down from the sky
I don’t need saints or dread.

Karen Keefe is a featured poet in Anti-Heroin Chic. Recently published by Silver Birch Press, she has poetry forthcoming in the Winter Issue of POETiCA REViEW and in Poetry as Promised. @karen_keef

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