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Thursday, October 06, 2005


by Doris Henderson

Imagine cotton fields: pure white puffs.
Like those cumulus clouds this morning;
you could reach up and squeeze them.

Connie claims she has no breasts.
She underestimates herself.
Connie, you don't need watermelons.

Compared to you I am a small boy.
But those clouds:
like cotton candy

like whipped cream
piled to infinity
for the gods to feast on.

You must try this restaurant.
Excellent pizza, succulent pasta.
They let you stay and talk all afternoon.

Or you can read your newspaper,
listen to your tiny ipod,
criticize the latest political speech.

This afternoon our President spoke
to an audience of poets. Well, he thought
it was the military he was addressing

but the poets were listening too,
thousands of us, seated before our TV sets,
waiting for the P word (peace, remember?)

But it never came.
We are going to stay right there,
taunt our enemies into attacking us

on foreign ground, where our skyscrapers aren't,
then destroy them, with all their sympathizers.
(This could take another 50 years, at least.)

So just hold fast, don't watch too much TV,
turn up the music on your tiny ipod,
think clouds, breasts, watermelons.....

Doris Henderson’s poems have appeared in numerous journals including Slant, Comstock Review, Connecticut River Review, and in collections such as Red Flower and Heartbeat of New England. Her poem "Distances," published in the anthology Caduceus in 2004, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. A recent winner of the Wallace Winchell Poetry Competition, she facilitates a writing workshop, volunteers for liberal causes, is active with the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office in New York. "After years of doing social commentary," she says, "I find a little humor sometimes helps!"