Juggler's World: Vol. 38, No. 1


Simple Holdings

by Robert Hill Long

I own a pear
and two pecans

enough grass
to stuff three pillows

a ceiling
that weeps on my face in bed

plenty of nails
but no paintings

My mother
blames herself for this

Visiting us she frets
that my family will go hungry

How can I tell her
we no longer worry

whether we are happy
or unhappy

We have neither too much
nor too little

nails to hang our clothes on
when we tire of wearing them

the costless smell of grass
while we sleep

and when my son cries
and refuses to eat

I produce two pecans and a pear
and juggle for him

I am not very good
but he claps delightedly

Even mother
has to hold her breath

at the pecans
passing swiftly hand to hand

and the pear
weightless as a sun in mid-air

Robert Hill Long is the director of the North Carolina Writers' Network.

Poem / Index, Vol. 38, No. 1 / jis@juggling.org
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