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Roger Mitchell’s most recent book is Their Own Society: Prose on Poetry, a collection of essays and reviews written over the years. His most recent collection of poems is Reason’s Dream (Dos Madres Press, 2018). His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Mudlark, Stand, Poetry East, and On the Seawall. He has previously been published in The Woven Tale Press.
From WTP Vol. XI #2
The freezer sits in a corner of the garage,
broken and bereft, being very quiet.
For eight years, it’s been like this.
We need to get rid of it. We broke it
by leaving it in the garage the winter
it dropped to thirty below. Who knew
a freezer could not stand being cold?
Must we always be careful, sensible,
paying our bills on time, looking out
for the safety of the world, plus
the safety of those in the world, those
like us who don’t read the directions
on every product to the end and put
freezers in safe dry places like garages
where, wonder of wonders, they freeze to death?
And then leave them there for years, each year
of which we say in passing, please make it
go away. It hath no freeze to give.
We cannot, though, say it gave nothing.
Nothing may come of nothing, as Lear warned
his loving daughter, but Nothing gave us
time in which to pass and years to measure by.
We’ve had these eight years, or is it ten,
to marvel at the wonder of evasiveness,
skipping past an obligation, years on end,
delaying duty like death itself, saying,
not now, maybe next week, exploring
the possibilities of never, but never
telling Never, You may not play at our house.
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