Rob Kenagy

Ca$h 4 Gold

After forsythia comes lilac. Been weeks since
you seen dried blood in the baby’s diaper.

The leaves on the maple are young and thin.
Apple blossom petals in the tall grass.

You don’t want to know what’s happening
in your own body and so you don’t think about it.

You don’t know any doctors. No one you know
knows any doctors. Used to be house calls

and you could die in your own bed.
You should quit smoking. You think once

the pollen settles your cough will disappear
with the orioles. And, you’re not as bad

as your cousin – two packs a day
even with those tubes in her nose.

When the baby cries he needs
his diaper changed, to eat, or sleep.

There’s no code, only options, though unknown.
Nothing can do when it drops below freezing in late May.

Hold the baby. Pray the fever breaks.
Wait and see what happens to all that fruit.

Repeat | Finish | Om

My father always says if it were easy,
everyone would do it
. It is easy
to say hello to water. Easy to call my friend
and tell him I love him. Drinking
bottles of cold beer, eating venison,
kale and garlic – easy.
Camouflage and flashlights are easy.
Super moon, Indian summer, smoking
behind bowling alleys – these are also easy.
For now, it’s easy to breathe. Driving
a highway lined with white pine and trailers,
listening to steel string John Fahey,
stinking like Fireball, small trout, river.
Easy, easy, easy. So easy
to open-mouth kiss the blue space night,
though it sometimes feels like a fawn’s first steps.
Unsure of what to make of ourselves,
everyone keeps searching for answers
because it’s hard to know why.
Why the body rattles at death. Why
hundreds of birds fell from the sky
over Alabama. Why the horizon hums
outside Taos. Why wrists are so slight.
Why, in West Virginia, do we receive radio signals
from the heavens if not for alien life?
Why are we so special?
And you – why are you so kind? How
did you learn to forgive like that?
What did it take to crawl
from primordial soup, reach your hand
across the table, smile with your eyes,
and say nothing? My father also likes to say:
Michael Jordan got cut his sophomore year
of basketball, but didn’t give up.

Which isn’t actually true, but I see the point.
Anyone can be anything and here I am
trying to pull myself out from the space
between what comes naturally
and what makes me tilt my head like a dog.
The answer I’m taught through the Myth of His Airness.
A boy on a dirt court in North Carolina
shooting the ball into greatness. Work.
Moving the body in a productive and joyful way,
so that some Labor Day we’ll all be
a Midwest vacation. Pop up campers
in the early evening hours,
and everyone’s playing cards on the picnic table
or returning from a swim glistening and warm.