Two Poems: ‘The Crew Change’ and ‘Rice in the Spoon’



These poems by Don Share bring surprising music and thrilling turns of mind to the matter of everyday life. We especially liked the eerie litany of woebegone objects in “Rice in the Spoon”: “Sea glass beached / on a porch bench” or, better yet, “A brown bust / of a sad man.” Whether Jethro Tull’s Aqualung is or is not a classic is a question Share’s readers are left to settle for themselves. —Dan Chiasson


Hobo, Bono, bone heap.
I mutilate dandelions in the sun,
rattle my rake like a saber

When Michelle-my-neighbor,
over compost, opines
that Aqualung’s a classic;

“At least I think so. U2?”
Does she mean: me, too?
In the foul rag and compost pile

Of my creaky abdomen I rustle
all the leaves of my locomotive breath
to agree because anything you say,

Michelle, must be so! We live
in a time of need. Your hair always
looks brushed. Our conversations

Are abrupt. And yet …
The children grow and play over time
like centipedes behind our sofas;

The tools I never use seem
delightful on their pegs in the shed,
like the hopes I sharpened

Once beside the gleaming rails
as a schoolboy, a hiker, a little hobo never
far from someone’s back yard trampoline.



Each in his house,
thinking of the key,

the locks, the windows,
doors, and roof.

In my sleep I lift
a finger. I see …

opposing blocks,
like Legos, in painful

composure of modes,
not moods.

Fake red feathers
fluffed in a spotted vase.

Sea glass beached
on a porch bench.

A brown bust
of a sad man.

A huge tin pitcher,
parched for years.

Rice glued to
a badly washed spoon.

Even the dust
quit moving to settle.

Even the snow is
a qualm, a sea.

Don Share is Senior Editor of Poetry magazine. His most recent book of poems is Wishbone.