By Thomas Cannon

Yes

Yes I want you back in my life
Yes I’ve got questions that
Yes I know you don’t want to talk about
Yes I know that is my fault
Yes I want things back to normal
Yes I want things to be like they were, but
Yes, its seems like a conversation is needed
Yes is my answer if you ask me to skip it
Yes, having you around is all I need
Yes I think you need more
Yes I think not clearing the air is not saying
Yes to life, but so is this nothing, this sadness
Yes, this makes me sad
Yes I will keep it to myself because
Yes, I don’t want to burden you
Yes Its because I want happiness for you
Yes I will stop this uncomfortable conversation, if
Yes is your answer to coming back.

Furrowed Rows

While I furrowed rows
in the sand with
an Ertl plow,
threw handfuls of grass
in my toy wagon,
I heard the real roar
of a tractor turning sod.

The rotary phone
would ring and
my mom would appear
in the window over the sink
with receiver pinched
between shoulder and ear
as she worked in the kitchen,
the long cord twisting with her turns

Now I sit at fifty
on my patio with
coffee and a book,
inhaling wisps
of summers past,
a plate clatters
as its pulled
from the dishwasher
the silverware drawer opens,
stays open.

Music from a phone speaker
Tinkles over the rattle
of the bathroom fan.

A late morning shower
getting ready for the day
of snapchat and Netflix
texts exchanged-
all from the couch

Summer begins now
with the Wi-Fi password.
But it begins.

Am I Wrong

How can I be wrong?
People say. Then demand,
Tell me.
What they mean is
I’m about to tell you I’m not.

That’s why
It’s a question to ask of yourself.
Always
How can I be wrong?
Create the scenario
In your head of it like fact.
That doesn’t mean it’s true
It does mean we often are.

Call it alternate facts if you wish
Though I hope you don’t.
and do it without calling yourself dumb.
But maybe pretend you are

Rain On The Roof

Rain falls on the tin roof
dripping into the rivulet
of seasons past

We made a go cart
out of a cow stanchion
the unused chicken coup
became our clubhouse

We climbed the rungs
of the grain grinder
Sunk in the ground
to stand on the bin,
Our ship’s foretop

We slipped into the granary
jumped feet first into shelled corn.
Opening the shoot above
the dusty kernels enveloped us
Grain fell like sand in an hourglass,
like days of the week do now.

The dogs slept under the pine.
The cats crept through the barn.
We played shadow tag
under the dusk to dawn light.

The tractor with the dead battery
Sits on the hill in my heart
Roll it down
Pop the clutch
Many one chances catch
an engine comes to life

We pretend drove
The junked Ford
We grew up to beat
the farm truck

Eventually stones fly
Gravel shatters what you have
But not what you had.
It just takes too many years
To realize it.

In August of 2021, Thomas Cannon was selected as the inaugural Poet Laureate of Oshkosh, WI. He is the author of the books Shattered and The Tao of Apathy. Many of his poems and short stories are also published in various journals such as Midwestern Gothic and Corvus Review.

One thought on “Yes and Other Poems

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