Bio Note: My first book of poetry was released the week my young husband died, leaving me with a cherished four-year-old to raise. I had to work full-time, but after retirement wrote three mainstream novels published by Penguin Random House. These days I’m back with my first love, poetry, and a number of my recent poems have been published in literary magazines. Writing a novel, I’m always holding my breath—it’s so much like working a jigsaw puzzle, fitting in characters and adjusting plots; writing poetry, I exhale.
When You Least Expect It
In the beginning was the word and the word was…Surprise! Abe’s wife Sarah had a dazzling revelation At ninety she was preggers, how divine And God said you’ll be mother to a nation And Sarah said “An only child is fine.” A welcome blessing this remarkable condition And now God’s voice announced to all it was a son So far past deadline, it warranted a headline In the Jerusalem Post, upper right, page one. Lot’s wife is never named within the Bible No name, just wife as far as readers know Her shame it could be truth or might be libel But either way, she livens up the show The fire and brimstone did its job in Sodom Its sinners died fried or smothered in the ash (God the Author sure knows how to plot ‘em) Gomorrah was reduced to steaming trash Lot’s wife proclaimed sin fun and not a crime But by holy rhyme and reasoning, God turned her into seasoning, A pillar of it till the end of time. Young David felled Goliath, twice his size The little dude defied bookmakers’ odds He flung the stone between Goliath’s eyes The fatal shot commanded by Dave’s God Which proves beyond a shadow of a doubt Beyond the calculations and the cautions One well-placed stone can take a bully out. Even a Philistine hunk of immense proportions. Who would have thunk it? In the beginning was the word and the word was… Surprise! Did you expect how your life rolled out, its trials and tribulations? Triumphs and jubilations? Did you anticipate Harvard cum laude, success before forty, winning the lottery, old age and doddery? What I’ve learned from my own astonishments. And from heaven’s ironic admonishments is that nothing is quite as projected and that dreams are too rarely respected. There’s wheat and there’s chaff Man plans and God laughs So when you least expect it…expect it.
Don't Call Me Honey
I don’t want the cashier calling me dear And the pharmacist calling me honey I don’t want to be asked if I’m up to the task Of loading my car If the parking’s too far. Just take my money. As you lean in to pour my vintage de jour You call me young lady and wink My age was unsung, when I really was young But I know what I am And how long I’ve been So please, server, just leave the drink. Oh, don’t patronize me Don’t dare minimize me I still do aerobics and jog I lift eight-pound barbells Have most of my marbles My head is not lost in a fog My roots are still dark and I know how to park I Facebook and iPhone and tweet Sometimes on occasion, when I’m feeling brazen My guy and I turn up the heat. So please hold that pity You pass off as witty At my age I’m doing just fine I’m nobody’s fool This “young lady” is cool So shut up and just pour the wine.
©2021 Toby Devens
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