Problems

Problems

A Poem by Robert Ronnow

Problems many of which are not getting solved
not because I'm not resolved but because I delay
to savor the day, the moon and the season
which is why I'm a non-person under the eye of eternity.

Except for my unpaid bills. And iambic pentameter.
Aaron fails English. Is there summer school?
What an a*****e! I want to slug him, but also
his teacher, Mr. Fisher, who's probably

a nice guy, just doing his job and raising a family.
Then there's the catheter from my last surgery
I was so sick I thought I was dying. The out of network
pathologist and radiologist have declined my insurance

and charged me to the hilt. Like I had a choice
face up in the emergency room. Facing doom, you don't ask questions.
Now that I've rejoined the living I've got to raise a million bucks
to save organic farms and endangered species I'll never see.

Perhaps none of this matters and chanting's the answer, Buddhist
      precepts,
or as Dad would say This too shall pass.
Life is a back and forth game but baseball is zen meditation,
you're in right field, nothing's happening, nothing's gonna happen,

but you can't let your attention wander for one second.
I should clean and oil my trumpet for Saturday's gig
or the valves will stick. And leave early enough
not to get stuck in traffic. Other lives, other problems.

A guy who takes the subway to a dead metal desk
and the boss who fires him with the cold hard eyes
of one who accepts the rules entirely. Actually
we're fortunate to have rules because otherwise

child soldiers armed with AK-47s would be shooting up
the village and setting fire to our thatched roofs.
Instead, under the rule of law, when snow falls
even old roofs look like problems with proofs.


© 2016 Robert Ronnow



Author's Note

Robert Ronnow
--Francis, Robert, "Old Roofs", Collected Poems: 1936-1976, University of Massachusetts Press, 1985.

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Added on January 6, 2016
Last Updated on January 6, 2016
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Robert Ronnow
Robert Ronnow

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