Poetry from J. K. Durick

                                Sink Holes
If no one was hurt, the news treats them as a bit of humor,
A diversion from politics and the economy, a photo with
a work crew next to it, for scale, works best; they’re like
A movie set, one of those old Western ones, with a hotel
And saloon, precisely built facades, but through the door
There’s empty space, nothing, it’s like taking a mask off
An invisible man; sink holes are a reminder that under all
This fuss and noise we live through, we walk around with,
We dedicate our days to, there may be nothing at all.

He was intent on knowing what’s happening,
The what, the who, and the why of things,
Read all the “right books” in the set order,
Asked questions when he could, in class,
In meetings, in person, texted questions
To political forums, waited patiently for
Answers, started learning things by heart,
Recited them to himself, aloud when he
Thought there was no one around, began
Measuring things, the distance to work,
The distance from his parking space to his
Desk, to the break room, to the men’s room,
Counting steps, hated to have interruptions
In his counting, would turn around and begin
Again, to get it right, kept time, minute to
Minute, each hour would make him pause
To count it, examine it, the clock weighed
Heavy on him, and when he could he’d tell
His fellow workers, his colleagues about how
Things were getting away from them, time
And place and the reason things ticked this
Way or that, he’d hold forth if they’d listen,
On and on he went, always teetering on the edge,
So when he finally was let go they were relieved,
Not surprised, a few joked, some just shook
Their heads and stayed quiet, always knowing
That’s the best way to go about in this life, too
Much examining of the things can only lead to
This, questions never asked are always better
Than the ones no one wants to answer.
            July, 2016
Life seems so political right now
Gerrymandered the way we are
Under-represented, but continually
Polled, we are the silent majority of
Minority voters, are haggling and
Hassling, dividing our delegation
Conferencing our own demise
We listen attentively to ourselves
Pin our hopes on slogans and
Vague gestures, applaud speeches
That tell us what we already know
We live our silly season, dress
For the weather whether we know it
Or not, we dream big, settle small
We vote our faulty conscience and
Settle for whatever they give us.

J.K. Durick jdurick2001@yahoo.com

J. K. Durick is a writing teacher at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Social Justice Poetry, Tuck Magazine, Yellow Chair Review, Madswirl, and Haikuniverse.