Plans and The World

by Gary Hardaway

27, 28, 29 and 30 for Napomo 16

Big Wind and Empty Nest

She stared at the stain of egg yolk
and the scatter of pale blue eggshell
on the pool deck under the Yaupon.

“Fucking wind,” he said,
“Twisted the leaves and branches
enough to pitch it out. See? There's the nest.”

His first words besides “Yes”, “No”
and “Sure” in three months. She looked
at the empty nest, nodded and sighed.

Moving On

You are terrified. You light
the autopilot light and trust

the small machineries of self
to land things safely, if not

satisfactorily. The risks
are only personal, after all;

your disengagement is complete
to the point that only you will

suffer calamity. No collateral
damage among the tribe. No

consequence beyond your
own inconsequential

inconveniences and
small humiliations.

There is method
in your alienation.

Whatever falls, falls on you, alone.
Whatever fails, fails you, alone.


for Upper Managers Considering Returns on Investment

When your babies are snatched,
butchered, roasted and grilled,
boiled, braised, pickled, salted

and consumed, what defense
will you offer
for your narrowness of vision,

your inability to see
that the underlings you
pushed around and belittled,

ever so politely, would turn,
as the world warmed
and the crops failed,

into the apex predators,
full of cunning and abandon,
capable of eating your dreams?

The Plans of the World

Make yourself small assignments
you can complete in your diminishing

capacities. Coffee. Shower. Dressing
yourself. The drive. Breakfast from

the sometimes-unreliable vending machine.
The small skill workday. The drive.

The something for dinner and dishes.
Dusting and the vacuum, Saturdays.

The laundry, Sundays. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
Maintain as best you can while you can.

Between, write as if there's fight
still in you. You've learned to kid yourself.

The world laid claim to you at the moment
of your birth. That was long ago.

The world has its plans and soon
will exercise the last it has for you.