Size / / /

It takes practice, this inattention

to life beyond the desk.

To ignore the thudding footfalls

on the porch, the slither

of mail through the slot.

What did I tell you? Someone

on this block is eating Chinese

food and singing Karaoke. And, look,

it may rain; a squirrel must move

her kits, one by one, from the perilous

drainpipe to some new, undisclosed,

location. Later, my own children

begin building something,

a time machine, using the boxes

I was saving for Christmas,

several miles of Scotch tape,

and the new bread knife. Now,

surely, that is reason enough

to put this work away?

If the time machine works,

I want to go with them.

What was the question? Lisa Firke is easily distracted. Nonetheless, her poems have appeared recently in Cicada, and in the April 26, 2004 issue of Strange Horizons. You can find her on the web at or send her email at
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