The Tower Journal

Ann Marie Gamble

One Drop

The burial is in the Jewish section of the cemetery.
Bone worship that segregates into the ground.
A Japanese maple shelters the speaker.
Dutch iris sprawls from a grave.
The rain seeps past stone angels and lions and no stones
To a creek that’s three rivers from the sea.

The oceans have separate names
But circulate unbound
They gather all rivers
Under a star a billion years old
And send rain back
To water the bones
On some continental plain.

The End of a Marathon

Netflix said
People who liked that mystery
Also watched this one.
I played the pilot but wasn’t sold.
My friends gushed
(They’ll watch anything)
So I tried another.
The scenery is nice.
Quaint English villages,
The hunting grounds of little old ladies
Who’d been mechanics during the war.

Netflix auto starts the next episode.
I put away dinner and clean the kitchen.
Another murder
(Of the obvious suspect,
So now who did it)
To set up the denouement.

I watch more episodes
The characters are mean
(After all, we must suspect them of murder).
Not so much love triangles
As love pentathetangelons
Secret babies
Stolen manuscripts and husbands
And blunt instruments.
And suddenly it’s 2 a.m.
In the drawing room with
Half a bottle of wine.

Tonight I could read a book instead.
But then the detective is
Kind to his wife
His sergeant is promoted
His daughter gets married.
“You’re good with grief,”
The lady doctor tells him.
“She did it,” my grandmother would have said,
And this episode, she’d be right.
Mistrust flattery, gifts from acquaintances,
Men who seemed so nice.

The seasons pass.
The grandmothers have died.
My evenings are free.
Netflix recommends another beginning.

Copyright © 2016 Ann Marie Gamble

Ann Marie Gamble is an editor at an advertising agency in the Midwest. She writes fiction as well as poetry, and practices keeping it pithy on Twitter. Lately she's paused the Netflix queue to make a dent in the reading list.

The Tower Journal
Winter  2016