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THE LAUNDRY PRAYER

she hangs out the laundry
her daily chore
a life lived chaste
happy never bored
on this day, a slight warm breeze
carries the smell
of fresh washed clothes
to far and near
always making her feel proud
while her bones carry a burden
of flesh worked hard
she knows she is worthy
she says her prayers
with her hands without
ever uttering a single word

by Michael Perry
VERSION OF A TONGUE TWISTER

so as the summer sizzle stalls into simmering on
and the fire flies flit catching light-deep into the night
so it goes- with each new day unable to carry
it's own weight from the heaviness the heat has wrought
rightly or wrongly, each day and night becomes
more brought about surrendering , slowly, sluggishly, straining into a
miasma of monotonous memory, where one needs a break from-
for nothing else will break this impasse excepting a cold front fast

by Michael Perry
HEAT

the heat cut through
like a knife to butter
soft, yellow, puddling and
the mirage up ahead, lead one to believe
there was water- somewhere to be found
which brought further confusion
-despair, when the mirage turned up dry

by Michael Perry
BE READY

if it is midnight, it could somewhere or anywhere
for i might be a  stranger, who just happens to be
passing through, so be ready, and know this for
i maybe different, in looks and design, not your cup of tea
despite ourselves we all know better, isn't it ingrained
into our souls, not to judge a book by it's cover, still
at this late hour do not make assumptions, know this
i might be a soul in need of help or a stranger who wants
to stretch his legs, grab a coffee and be on his way, still
the feeling wasn't mutual between us, i could tell
you wanted me to move on, so with decisions made
we both felt it was for the best, as i hit the  gas pedal
creating dust clouds between pavement and the wheel

by Michael Perry
CHILLED BONES

from my window vantage
crusts of ice build up
to crease the window pane
a wafting draft sneakily escapes
through cracks  beyond the recess of glass and wood
am I prepared to venture out
into the cutting cold
that waits for me outside
i debate, a moments wait
but i decide i must, for no matter what
you cannot convince me otherwise
today will surely be a lucky day, at best  
for all the signs point to it, I can feel it
right down deep- into my chilled bones

by Michael Perry
ORDINARY OR NOT MORE THAN THAT

you and i
once made a pact, to be not
like everyone else, to be
ourselves, no matter what
everyone else did, so we would do
our best, to not be ordinary, to stand apart

so here we are trapped
in the same old routine, this life
we warned ourselves of what would happen
if we slipped and became ordinary
the drain of being just plain, it was not
what we signed up for, so what? resist?

so maybe, just a thought, for us to ponder  
here's a penny for your thoughts
it seems about right, in some ways
ordinary served us better, just saying
how we spend our lives now, it could be worse, whether
ordinary or extraordinary, we are together
shouldn't that be how it's supposed to be, don't you think?

by Michael Perry
CONFESSIONS OF AN OLD MAN PLANNING WHAT'S NEXT

to see him in the grip of his 62nd year
he is not much to look -at all
salt, pepper spread of hair, lines crisscrossed
everywhere-  a sign of his wear and tear

with his glasses perched on the bridge of his nose
he needs to get from here to there, his sight is a goner
if anyone came here right now, they could walk up to him
and be greeted by blind hands going haywire

he's been married several times, he loved each wife
at the time they were married, not sure what they would say
about him if they had a chance to tell their story in heaven
he hopes they would be kind, to outlive them all, such a shame

he's had a good life, lived longer than most, in these parts
he thinks contrition is a long walk to be made, with the time left
and his touch of black lung scar, taking hold, a reminder to reflect
on the tough years he's had, while providing for each wife in turn

he's not sure what happens next, there's no plans for that
so all he can do is sit and wait, and think about
each day, as he stares down death for as long as he can
for he wants to leave this earth on a clean slate

getting up from the chair it's a slow walk taking forever  across
the porch, turning the handle to the front door, realizing it's better
late then never, saying to no one listening, its been a long day for
planning next steps, better yet, he thinks there is always tomorrow

by Michael Perry
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