Daily April poem: noir-inspired
Shabbat in the modern world

Daily April poem: what gets in the way


Whatever gets in the way of the work
might be the roasting pan from last night's chicken
aswirl now with suds and schmaltz.

Might be the yellow pansies nodding bravely
in the window box outside the coffee shop.
The bitter dregs of coffee in a big white cup.

It might be the half-remembered dream
of ice floes, furlined coat, the little bird
vibrating like a beating heart in my hand.

It might be the little boy on Thomas sheets
who's thrown every single stuffed animal out of bed
and is waiting for me to intuit that he's alone.

What gets in the way of the work is this cold wind
whipping past my leather jacket to kiss my neck.
The daffodil-bright sign at the VFW.

And I'm blessed to gather this armful of images
and stitch them together with blue thread, because
whatever gets in the way of the work is the work

and whatever gets in the way of this day
is this day that the Lord has made:
let us rejoice and write poems in it.




This daily April poem wasn't written to any particular prompt. I stared for a while at my empty text window, waiting for an idea, and what came to me was the mantra I learned from my teacher Jason Shinder, of blessed memory: "Whatever gets in the way of the work, is the work." (I've written about that many times before.) That's what gave rise to this poem.