JAMES GRINWIS Included In The Form

For instance, the discipline questions
I am not sure about, how to be just to the child
without cheating him out of something.
That, and I’ve forgotten all the lines I was thinking
about before falling asleep that I know
were good ones and quite thrilling to me
at least, which is the reason to go about doing deeds
when you suffer from something. And whether or not
there are things that will mean or not mean
in lassoing some form of aimless guilt
as may be attributed when trying to raise
children correctly, be fair to the dog, love
fully and without reservation. There is a mother
and her son at the table, he must be nine or ten
and reminds me greatly of my own son
who is going about having his troubles
and victories, while the world proceeds with
its hurts which will encase him as they do everybody,
gifting humanity to our bodies with the things
it takes away. Whether managing the store or
removing things from it or something
like sitting abjectly in the corner or actually helping
someone along, which would help. Or how walking
through relatively uncharted woods one notices
the absence of life besides trees, weeds,
and mud, despite a great wealth of nests,
perhaps a tiny predator has eaten all the squirrels
used the birds as toothpicks
and I am walking on top of its lair. Or
it is just too cold for anybody to be out around now.


James Grinwis is the author of The City from Nome (National Poetry Review Press) and Exhibit of Forking Paths (Coffee House/National Poetry Series), both of which appeared in 2011. His poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Conjunctions, Crazyhorse, Mudfish, Prairie Schooner, and many other journals. He lives in Greenfield, MA.

Photo by Alina Chupakhina