A Small Life in Slices

by Gary Hardaway

Morning Shave

It's Sunday- no need to shave-
but shave, I do. A little act

of discipline in the discipline
of routine. The ego and superego

score a tag team win
against the strong but lazy id.


The cats are dogged in their assertion
that it's time to eat the daily ration
of rich soft food. They love
the pate'-like spread,
their meat in tins.
Were it tuna,
they would
sniff and
let it


The small, expiring, fluorescent lamp
on the tiny patio across the way
spasms light as if it were
a tiny pulsar which has lost its once
perfect rhythm. The neighbor must be away
or oblivious to this tiny ruin
scratching at my vexed and simple eyes.

Small Beauty

I don't know why I like the way
the morning sunlight plays
along the surfaces of the ordinary
building across the commons from mine.

The eye finds its small delights
among abundant optical

phenomena the eye can see.
Today it is enough.

October and Texas

After weeks in the nineties,
an honest autumn chill
dresses tough guys in windbreakers
and tougher guys in shorts
and short sleeves. Identity
is fluid. The cool air
always takes us by surprise.

Lunar Sequence

Sunlight effaces the moon
as morning ages into noon.
The moon remains, of course,

an ever-reliable ball of rock
and debris, powdery and coarse.
The sun effaces but never

erases the moon. It's all in
the lighting, a trick of the eye.
So long as we live, the moon won't die.