Sunday, March 16, 2014

Service Record

author’s note:

The religious practice mentioned in the poem is--or at least, was--true.

I guess it's like buying an indulgence.


In Bora Bora, kings believe
they must pay priests
to pray for them--

otherwise, they'll convert
to hat stands upon death
and be forced to serve all ghosts,
high and low.

But I accept
a different kind of karma:
if you are not willing
to be a hat stand sometime in this life,
you'll need to become one
in the next.

How else would you earn
your three hundred sixty degrees?

I myself have held
plenty of hats and coats
for others, high and low.
Also umbrellas.

The restraint of such tight rooms
pushed me, finally, to lift my head...

only then did I see
the lofty ceiling
slowly opening
to the sky.

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
new steps

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Blogger Irene Latham said...

Oh, wow, I love that ending.
I am asking poet bloggers to send to me their favorite famous poem and a link to their blog so I can feature one a day during National Poetry month on my blog. I'd love to have you on board! irene at irenelatham dot com

5:12 PM  

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