America Speaking – a Work in Progress*

The Real Estate Developer The real estate developer loves me Hard hat on a sixty-dollar haircut Wrinkled specs under a fragrant armpit Cashmere sweater to warm her And give power if power is needed Standing again before the towering Thing that was born from her faith And desperation, head back, she is Quietly amazed At not just its towering verticality But also its capacity to Absorb so much interest Its potential to yield a profit Even if it takes longer to sell Than expected It was always a labor of love For someone living in a small house Who sees her children on weekends Reads biographies of great women Women for whom, like Einstein and Napoleon, Found strength in audacity …

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America Speaking – a Work in Progress*

The Copywriter The copywriter loves me Grateful for the great markets he’s been given The work is hard but when the results are published And he sees the response rate for Split B The six-tenths of one percent lift He is happy for several good reasons First because he’s become richer by six thousand dollars And second because he’s proven his point once again And won’t fail to remind them If battle victories were as sweet He might be a soldier But marketing is love, not war And his words are silky fish His sentences shimmering images His work a pool of restoration And hope to millions Without a cudgel to swing He has metaphors, which, like bubbles, Swell up …

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America Speaking – a Work in Progress*

 The Car Washer The car washer loves me Rag in hand, ready to move When each wet car emerges Dripping and happy To dry the gleaming bodies The shining reminders of What he does not have and Does not deserve These pampered pet things Toys from another class He will not think about it But he moves like a cat And like a cat there is No room in his heart Nor time in his day For resentment Neither for the owners Or for his pot-bellied, cigar-chomping boss He has no time for that And these hulking creatures Wet and happy as they are Deserve to be kindly handled And anyway one day he could Have one of his own …

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America Speaking – a Work in Progress*

The College Teacher The college teacher loves me Sitting alone in her classroom Her students absent Thinking about another teacher Whose soothing voice calmed And then inspired her Who came in early Monday mornings To tutor her privately in English Their little secret The gradual eradication of an unnecessary past The gradual accumulation of invisibility Making it possible in small degrees To become if not the best dressed Or most poised or most accomplished At least the most thankful and for that, As she should be, she is happy * An earlier version of this series was published in my first poetry collection: Back and Out Again https://smile.amazon.com/Back-Again-Mark-Morgan-Ford

America Speaking – a Work in Progress*

The Farmer The farmer loves me Sitting on his front porch Looking out at his land A hundred acres Lying fallow now Everything is resting This is a good year There have been others He does not think for long on that No, this is a time for sitting For smoking a pipe Thinking about his children Gone now, busy elsewhere Noisy, crowded places Maybe this year he’ll visit But the steel and grime The haste, the tangled masses What strength and foolishness It takes to live like that Yet he is proud of them And happy to have this time After this good harvest To be, as he should be, grateful * An earlier version of this series was …

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America Speaking – a Work in Progress*

The Firefighter The firefighter loves me Resting on the station’s couch Thumbing through an old magazine Listening to Howard Stern Proud as he should be to be chosen Happy to be among my proud children And although his body is relaxed now He is strong and quick and ready He is waiting, always waiting For the chance to repay me For the alarm to signal His opportunity to show me How much he loves me * An earlier version of this series was published in my first poetry collection: Back and Out Again https://www.amazon.com/Back-Again-Mark-Morgan-Ford

America Speaking – a Work in Progress*

The Immigrant The immigrant loves me Waiting by the side of the road Watching for a truck to slow Hablando con sus amigos He is happy to have come this far To have worked so hard and saved so long And paid the many propinas that must be paid He remembers kissing his wife goodbye That last day, his niña in his arms, making promises The endless, claustrophobic passage And the first view of his new country The overwhelming, eviscerating hope A day’s work here, a month’s pay back home Don’t tell me this was a mistake Don’t tell me I’m not welcome Don’t tell me I don’t deserve this Tell me, “You! You with the crazy eyes! Jump in …

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Ataraxia

From Lexis in Wolf’s Clothing, my 3rd poetry collection.   I can’t relax Though I try I want to go soft Liquid soft, yielding Move like mercury Yet I feel heavy And that’s not good   I want to defy gravity Rise above myself Lifted by my own breath I am getting denser I don’t like it   I want to thin out, be As thin as aluminum foil And then thinner still But I am nothing like that I am a black hole And everything around me, Including you, Is adding to my weight   I want to shed light Not attract it Lightness will come eventually It always does – and often just in time But I want …

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Mark B and the Last Thing

A work in progress (from my “Stolen Poems” series)… Your “worst” poem poked me It felt like an umbrella tip of challenges Because, like you, I was challenged And, like you, it felt like Your “bag of thank-you notes” felt Like “enough art for one day”   You had your “boneless” kiss And your time in the “floral trenches” I wondered about that What have I had lately? I should know, I don’t Things – images, conversations – Slip away… Thundering round the corner The trick my own disappearance   And maybe that is why I am stealing Your “cockshy quasihero” with his “Latex lasso” and “flock of sparrows” Because I’m hoping they will replace Those little precious – if …

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