John Poch is Professor of English at Texas Tech University. His recent poems appear in Poetry, Yale Review, Southwest Review, and other journals.
While our governor jogs just down the road
with a pistol for coyotes, I like the outdoors
for the decorated meadowlark on the fence post
above three horse cripplers teaching me valor
in patience across the cirrus-strewn morning.
Sleep low needy needy moving, he tells me.
I have lost my wallet I know not where and may
yet find it, God willing and thieves be damned.
In a world of hurry’s fistfuls, the thorn of money
obstructing nearly every ordinary path like mesquite
shoots waiting for a snag of feather, fur or flesh,
I’d like to bushwhack the clumpy field a mile
and, at worst, make a bird change direction.
I can appreciate the science of a parking lot
from here. In his famous way, death outlives us,
he thinks. Our governor, he must think of me
what deer think of the cows, compatriots of the pasture,
one group swifter perhaps though not a little daft below
the corn feeder, or what anyone thinks driving by
the Boston Terrier Museum, Floydada, TX.
Yet what can I do when God votes for me? I must
love the governor, my enemy who fails education.
The opposite of war is eating, so I will now cook
my dinner while he stews and know he is nearly
my father, and both of us suffer, one perversely,
the frail imaginings of a country king.