"Life's a twinkling, that's for certain, but it's such a fine thing." --Carrie Newcomer
Margaret Fisher Squires is a psychotherapist who has shared her poetry largely through local readings with the Hart Rock Poetry Series, the Writers Guild at Bloomington, and Five Women Poets. She is perhaps the only person to have published a poem in the Bloomingfoods Co-op newsletter. She is one of the contributors to the Five Women Poets 2016 chapbook "Birds of a Feather."
This is the Poets Weave. I'm Romayne Rubinas Dorsey. Margaret, what poems have you brought for us today?
Once by stove’s heat,
once by spice,
the soup is twice warmed.
In spite of winter’s chill,
the glow spreads through me.
Our daughter sits across the table from us,
her boyfriend beside her.
She talks of the kids she cares for at work,
the art she’s making.
In spite of all the bad parenting moments
I remember so clearly,
her face is lively, bright.
The glow spreads through me.
For the rest of the week,
when I drink tea, decaf coffee, cocoa,
the heat spreads through me,
calls to mind
her glowing face.
My daughter hates to pack things in boxes.
She’s afraid once they are boxed,
the garments and photos, feathers and crockery
will never be seen again.
Looking at the boxes stacked in our basement
for most of her life,
I cannot say her fear is unfounded.
She’s also afraid things crammed into boxes are more likely to get broken,
Today, as we are packing everything out of her dorm room,
I tell her,
“That depends on how you pack the boxes.”
Perhaps I haven’t taught her well enough,
haven’t said, “Heavy things on the bottom,”
“Try wrapping that up in this,”
“Fill it full enough so that nothing rattles,”
“Don’t fill it too full.”
Perhaps I won’t give her that lesson.
Perhaps life will.
at my request,
she put on cap and gown, sat while speeches flowed past her ears,
walked across the stage,
shook the college president’s hand as she received her diploma.
She even smiled!
her expression dubious,
she lets me pack a fragile treasure,
the delicate dried head of a tiny crocodile,
in a box.
Interview with an Old Biddy
Hold the microphone down here,
where I can cluck into it more easily.
Well, then, sit down. You can lean your back against the coop.
So what if you’re getting your slacks dirty?
You’re the one who wanted to interview a chicken.
You say scientists have just discovered
that we chickens
are the closest living relatives of Tyrannosaurus Rex?
It should have been obvious.
It’s just a matter of scale.
Naturally T. Rex had feathers!
Don’t you read the science magazines?
No, I don’t remember what it was like.
Do you remember swinging through the trees?
I thought not.
But I can imagine.
The forest floor trembling beneath giant footfalls,
the huge trees shaking
to the great swelling roar
of the monster’s
What are you laughing at?
Where’s the joke?
Oh, fine! I should have known
that the word “joke”
would make you ask that.
If you really want to know,
the chicken crossed the road
to make a statement about the transitory nature of—
No, not the transitory nature of chickens!
The transitory nature of everything,
especially everything human.
You humans make all these things,
and spread them out over the face of the Earth
and think you’re such hot stuff.
We chickens can cross one of your roads
in two flaps and a scurry
and our ancestors were eating your shrew-fathers
for light snacks,
and we’ll do it again
when evolution’s wheel
takes another turn!
Don’t think we won’t!
At least our ancestors didn’t bring on their own doom.
It’s your habit of burning our ancestors
in your car engines
that’s bringing on
the next turn of the wheel.
Well, that’s all for now.
I see a fat beetle in the grass across the hen yard,
and I’m going to charge over there,
my footfalls shaking the grass stems,
and I am going to by god rend him limb from limb!
You've been listening to poems by Margaret Fishers Squires on the Poets Weave. I'm Romayne Rubinas Dorsey.