cover photo: stephan mazurek
I Wanted To Grow Up
by Lisa Vihos
I wanted to grow up to be a poet.
The burly, mountain-man kind of poet
with a thick beard and a wild look in my eye.
I would wear torn jeans and flannel shirts
with sleeves rolled up over thermal underwear.
I would not be a drunkard.
Every morning, I would rise before the sun
and make a pot of coffee, then, to work.
When words failed me, I’d split wood, take a bath.
Now and then, I would journey to small colleges
up and down the coast, reading and teaching
on dappled sunlit afternoons in ancient classrooms
that smell of dust and youth; the brawls of academia
unable to mar my poet’s wings. I’d be a paragon
of dedication to my craft.
I would revel in the great and small, the misfit
and the misbegotten. I would sift through words
like jelly beans, roll them across my tongue
and place them ever so gently in your ear
where they might work their way down into
your solar plexus, taking hold of your digestion.
My rugged good looks would light my way
and without knowing how, I’d generally end my day
with someone’s legs wrapped around my back.
But my loneliness would be deep
and wide as the ocean. No lover’s croon
could ever keep me still or match the call
of the Sirens waiting for me on the rocks.
Me, chained to my mast, drenched in their song,
words dripping from me like sweat.
~ first appeared in A Brief History of Mail (Pebblebrook Press)