Prospect Park Lament
On the first day I took secateurs to Prospect Park and cut out some forsythia.
On the second day I ate garlic by the bulb.
On the third day I heard the crackle of my lungs and remembered hiding out once
…………….. in an attic padded with fiberglass.
On the fourth day I watched the neighbors leave.
On the fifth day I ordered pineapple linzer sandwich cookies from the
…………….. shut-down tea-house.
On the sixth day, countryhouseless, I thought of Basho:
hearing the cuckoo,
I long for Kyoto.
From black bananas I made bread.
hen I gambled in the stock market with the extra black bananas.
Then my Adam’s apple became a sweet gumball fruit. Then an avocado stone.
Then I stood on my balcony and cried for the clerks and the nurses.
I cried for my city wheezing under its viral load.
I cried for the ventilators lost in the warehouses.
Then I ordered a nebulizer, Sunshine chorella tablets, meyer lemons,
…………….. 91% isopropyl rubbing alcohol, albuterol, Annie’s Shells and Cheese,
and macadamia nut milk over the internet.
Then I attended a funeral on Zoom.
Then I learned how to be a crow and a pigeon.
Then I sweat out what had entered via my thumb pad into the corner of my eye.
Then I gave up my unclean hands to the sky, and got on my clothesline
and sang for the dead.
by Anna McDonald
from National Poetry Library