Bio Note: I am a Family Nurse Practitioner who has gone over to the dark side, now providing Mental Health care to the patients I used to treat for athlete's foot and heartburn. I also write when some little thing strikes me as worth putting down, like my second poem. It was sparked by an online post about borrowing sugar to make hummingbird nectar.
i ain't no smarter now
Did you know that hamburgers are made with unexpected things?
Christopher Palmer "The Getting of Wisdom"
i was young when i first heard that fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, for those of us without i had a mother who could easily put the fear of God into any child and so began my journey here in my sixties i have to wonder if accumulating knowledge has led me any closer to wisdom for example: i have made hamburgers from start to finish with my dad i mean from the very start butchering a cow cutting the carcass down to manageable pieces trimmed and sorted out the right proportions of meat to fat, run them through the grinder to the pan shaped the ground meat into balls mashed those between waxed papers one at a time on a manual press and grilled the resulting patties to savory perfection that's the knowledge part but wisdom? i ain't no smarter now because in the face of knowing exactly what is in my greasy treat i will still eat two burgers when one would more than do add cheese and all the fixings look around for the chips or potato salad, or both then sit, stuffed and stupefied wondering why i never learn if mother were alive, i expect she would throw more fear on the fire(Originally appeared in Praxis Magazine)
for the hummingbirds
we are neighbors though never neighborly before no borrowed butter no cross-fence conversations there simply was no need i had my life, you had yours both filled with the urgencies that kept us moving through each day always moving exhausted when night fell until this covid thing which sounds like corvid don't you think and crows remind me that the hummingbirds, precious hovering jewels, need me more than ever need the simple nectar that i supply which brings me back to neighborly things— nectar's made with sugar granulated white and nothing else and in this time of cloistering non-essential sallies curtailed so many essentials gone from supermarket shelves i, and my sugar jar are quite empty so won't you be a good neighbor and if you can, spare a cup a teaspoon just won't do to be returned some coming day when viral fear has faded if not for me, then please for the hummingbirds
©2020 Jim Lewis
Editor's Note: If this poem(s) moves you please consider writing to the author (email address above) to tell him or her. You might say what it is about the poem that moves you. Writing to the author is the beginning of community at Verse Virtual. It is very important. -JL