Now I Have What Once I Wanted
When young, I envied
the character-filled hands
of the old, with their ropey
veins and swollen knuckles,
so unlike my smooth doll-baby
hands, as yet unproven.
Devon Balwit‘s only regret is that she doesn’t have more than 10 fingers for silver rings.
Another global hacker has locked hard drives,
asking $300 in Bitcoin to liberate files,
and I wonder whether I should, instead,
beg them to freeze mine, and thus return
to an age of innocence and concentration,
heedless of likes and teapot tempests,
yet for all that, content.
Devon Balwit spends a lot of time scolding her son for gaming while surreptitiously checking her email.
Hot, we yell—breaking
windows to feed the conflagration,
ignoring the flare of support beams,
the shift that signals collapse.
Devon Balwit has been known to fan the flames.
Editors’ Note: Come on by for Devon Balwit week, July 25-29, on One Sentence Poems.
We are asked to celebrate, even purchase,
the ball machine, our dogs taught to drop
it in and wait while we read, unmolested,
but there is something sad in the dog’s
excitement at a hole not a hand, a cutting
of a bond, like a young child set before
a screen, our lives easier but not richer,
more time to fill, but not be blessed thereby.
Devon Balwit has subjected herself to her yellow lab. He graciously lets her write poetry when he pleases.
In the Darkroom
You clamped the negative and the blank sheet
into the enlarger, mysterious
with dials, right hand working the wands
that let just enough light
fall on the naked page for the features to ghost,
perfect, from the developer
before you slid them into the sour fixative,
pinning them with rubber tongs
until they would remain forever, all of us bathed
in ghoulish red, lit from within.
Devon Balwit writes her poems on a laptop in Portland, OR, precariously perched on a stack of books in front of her small window onto the world.
In the night,
my husband disappears
from his usual spot
in the bed,
my groping hand
the dog at our feet,
where I join him,
both of us forsaking
the lonely comfort
of our pillows
for the shared breath
of the pack.
Devon Balwit is a poet and educator working in Portland, OR. Every morning, she uses the height of her dog’s leaps as an oracle to gauge her fortunes for the day, then writes and writes–hoping to produce a thing of beauty.
How much I both wanted the future and wanted
to be rescued from having to get there by myself,
stuffing down whatever was at hand, packages of
meat or ice cream, then vomiting them back up,
seeking to empty myself of the bolus of dread
in my gut, the leaden years between the young me,
anxious and alone, and the unimaginable me,
transformed somehow like the hero after a quest,
dusty, scarred, but upright, deserving of her prize.
Devon Balwit is pleased to say she survived to make it to the bright garland of love and vocation in Portland, OR.