Ballad Swallowed by Experience

Jake Sheff 

I saw nine worthies drunk, asleep
behind the scenes and wheel
of fortune, when a smile like
a skid mark sealed the deal.

I saw a wonder, less renowned
than owned; its little tin
tenacity stood up and slammed
the door to let me in.

A blessing – bloated, blistered; black
as dreaded dread – I saw
regard our wrinkled rhymes as peeled
from days in Arkansas.

In crippled conversations with
the sky, I saw it wash
your warning from the morning’s depth
and praise your deadly flash.

A deadly, fresh security
is sanctity. I heard
the exit make its entrance, drown
the ears and every bird.

“It isn’t me, but what the art
demands I see,” I heard
my years report. I felt I was
their green, diminished third.

I felt it wasn’t issued to
get sued, but time gets paid
for running out of names; it’s more
than fair when death gets laid.

I heard your tender dominance
above the bearded shore:
“More happens from stupidity,
the best conspirator.”

Jake Sheff is a pediatrician and veteran of the US Air Force. His poems and short stories have been published widely. Some have even been nominated for the Best of the Net Anthology and the Pushcart Prize. A full-length collection of formal poetry, “A Kiss to Betray the Universe,” is available from White Violet Press. He also has two chapbooks: “Looting Versailles” (Alabaster Leaves Publishing) and “The Rites of Tires” (SurVision).