I have not learned how
to property balance
the mundane details of life,
the phone bill, the gas bill,
an overdue library book.

A tiny bird hops along
the broken concrete wall
channeling the river.

I am only concerned
with how beautiful things
also must struggle, yet
they show little anxiety
for tomorrow's rent
or appetite for memory.

A wasp fans a nest of mud,
the river sluggishly flows
through a steamy Jersey July,
the hospital expects money.

Where is that peace in which
we can enjoy our modest blessings,
our human troubles, our daily bread,
a sturdy tent & the lovely
presence of children?

A six-thousand year-old question,
forgive these ancient complaints,
for I have chosen a hard chair
as my bleak watchtower,
& in its squeaky springs
I hear the rusty pulley
on my mother's clotheslines
when dandelions were yellow flowers.

I will give them their dollars
enclosed with an ugly silence,
then listen for the thunderstorm
crackling through my radio.

© Bob Rixon
The Balancing Beam