A boy in bed
uses two fingernails
to scratch away flowers
in the wallpaper. Not because he
hates flowers. It's the wallpaper
he can't stand. That, and the notion
of something stuck to something else
is what sets him adrift.
By morning, the area
around the bed looks like October.
The old thumbnails as a chisel routine
works again. But now, there's this
puky-colored wall underneath. The
baseboard has become a dying
fishpond or try turning 80 degrees
in the starboard direction to avoid
the low-hanging mountains. Later,
he'll spend all of ten-minutes pecking
out his emotions on a piano or take
the sideshow on a passing boxcar
he never climbs aboard. Either way,
his mind will be free to wander every
whichway, using the unabridged version.
If you've any comments about this
poem, Maurice Oliver would
be pleased to hear from you.