Lex Runciman
“Joy Cometh in the Morning”
Psalm 30

         Brakes fail. We lie.
Carrots stick in the gullet:
         coughing triggers a stroke.
Rain freezes. A runner on stairs
         unmoors itself and slides.
Against all justice the baby sickens.
         A woman putting on the thirteenth green
dizzies, her last words “my head aches,”
          and “take me home.” War hovers.
Your watch is off. What child
         deserves such parents? Dead fish
clog the river, wash ashore,
         then the smell begins. Someone’s son
strangles a person he thinks he loves.
         Crops wilt. The knife slips.
Ridicule leads to bruises. That person
         listens and walks away, and that one,
who said the wrong things, knows it.
         No touch endures. The doctor is unsure.
Memory says love is unreturned.
         The words you have rehearsed
vanish from your mouth. Sleep
         teases. Gesture is not enough.
I don’t know how we go on.