This day is like a painting
a little too far to the right
or to the left. Step back.
Squint your eyes. Tilt your head
Something needs realignment.
It bothers you that other days
seem so perfectly centered.
It’s not the weather. You feel
it when you’re at the supermarket
at the avocado,
wondering what you actually think about it.
A deep lunge to see around yourself.
A subtle wobble of a scale.
It’s like the word snow.
Not the fluffy frozen stuff,
that time your sister had a seizure
still strapped in her skis
and you got to ride a snowmobile
down the mountain,
or pointing out a car, screaming SNOW!
or resting your head gently on your knee
Words gather like snow.
You think about it for a long time.
you don’t think about it at all.
You’ve already secretly called
I’m tired. You go have fun without me.
That shelf behind yourself is cozy.
Outside, the day is going on.
People are having conversations
with other people,
across the street.
Special mention, 2011 Ruth Stone Poetry Prize, judged by Claudia Emerson.