Asylum: Way of Being
It is characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.
Thoreau (Walden, “Economy”)
For the dignity of labor, I break
my body just as tin soldiers die
of metal fatigue, as truce flags beg
until their fray is woven among twigs
of goldfinch nests. My hand tools
become mantle shelf antiques, valuable
to collectors in pristine uselessness:
my making made me.
For honesty of heart, I spray paint
through the stencil of my handicap
as proof of concept; to old friends confess
miscalculated desires, the way
apple trees drop their benevolence
as a catalog of worms. Regret
undermines confidence, so says
this voice of ink.
For the refuge of mind, I cross
off the been there, done that, the else to do.
I am the out of focus child
in witness snapshots like a humble god,
but I have traveled the Middle Way
like a hemlock falling precisely between
gravestone rows, the way a latch-bolt
snugs to its keeper.
Frederick Wilbur’s first book of poetry is As Pus Floats the Splinter Out. A second poetry collection, Conjugation of Perhaps is forthcoming from Main Street Rag Publishing. His work has appeared in many print and on-line reviews including Shenandoah, The Atlanta Review, the Comstock Review, The Dalhousie Review, Rise Up Review and New Verse News.