Save Yourself

But first I must save the others –
the goldfish swimming in their little glass ocean;
the ficus too weary to carry its greenness any farther,
surrendering all hope
and dropping its leaves;
and the little terrier dying of hunger, her brown eyes begging –

and so I go to the upstairs apartment –
the vacationing tenants gone,
the key to their locked door entrusted to me –
and minister the eucharist of the doggy treat
and scatter fish food into the fish bowl, the dusty flakes
falling from my fingers like a blessing of manna.
Then I bring the window garden back to life
with rain that I pour from an old tin cup.

Richard Jones’s most recent books of poems are Stranger on Earth (Copper Canyon Press, 2018) and Avalon (Green Linden Press, 2020). The editor of the literary journal Poetry East, he will celebrate forty years of publishing with Poetry East #100, a volume called The Bliss of Reading. www.RichardJonesPoetry.com

See more of his work in 8.4 and 8.4 and 4.1 and 4.3 and 5.3

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