Saturday Poem

No Weapons of Mass Destruction Found

Of course the newspapers are mad at being lied to.
The press, the investigating committee,
the appropriate government officials,
everyone expresses dismay except for, not surprisingly,
my granddaughter, who is too busy
chasing the cat, and my nine-month-old grandson,
who has his own problems, because
every time his sister bumps into him or the sun
gets in his eyes or he tires of a toy
he cries. I don’t need a network of intelligence agents
to know what’s wrong. All I have to do is search inside Tyler’s mouth
where the two subversive teeth, those little terrorists,
are wreaking havoc on his gums,
and so I dance him from the last place
he felt awful to the next place he hasn’t had a chance yet to fill
with is sobs. I hum louder
than his crying, as if to make clear to the pain
that it’s met its match in me.
Later I peel what’s soiled off Tyler
and Josie and plop them both in the bath
and ask the water once more for a miracle,
and then I bundle them in towels they immediately throw off
as if that’s the whole point of taking a bath:
running naked afterward through the house,
intending never to dress,
pretending that one’s free to stay like this forever
if one wishes, the object of everyone’s
scolding, everyone’s delight. For now
there’s no point in turning on the television or radio,
no call for any news
but this. For now. These two
three-lettered words may be some of the most important
in our language. For now.

by Chris Bursk
The First Inhabitants of Arcadia
University of Arkansas Press, 2006