Inclinado enlas tardes tiro mis tristes redes
                                              —Pablo Neruda

Everything inside my house is sad today,
the avocado green walls, the scratched plank floors,
even the refrigerator groans.

Outside the trees are sad:
the maple stooped over the neighbor’s chain-link fence,
the cedars’ wide branches weeping into the lawn.

A tall man at the bus stop, asking change for a dollar,
waving the bill at half-mast, is sad.

At the Safeway, a perky blonde cashier suppresses tears,
stacking the onions atop the bread
in the sad paper sack.

Then all the cars in the street are sad,
foreign, domestic, all coming sadly
to a stop at the same dejected stop sign.

And the streets themselves are sad,
wearing numbers like inmate i.d.’s.

When I get back home, sunshine
is flowing from the skylight into the kitchen
like a sad yellow rain over the chopping-block island.

Dust motes are dancing in it—Flamenco-style—
sadness be damned!

I make a tuna sandwich with sliced onions,
my tears drip into a fresh brewed cup of coffee.
Lunch is good—even the refrigerator purrs.

Lana Hechtman Ayers lives in Kirkland, WA where she is a manuscript consultant and writing workshop leader. Her poems appear in such journals as Cider Press Review, Bitter Oleander, and Slant, and have been awarded honors by the Rita Dove Competition and the "Discovery" / The Nation Prize. Her first chapbook, Love is a Weed, is available from Finishing Line Press. Lana also publishes the Concrete Wolf Chapbook Series. (www.concretewolf.com)

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761