Two Prose Poems
    Forrest Hamer

Someone I know heard her name called during a radio prayer show, and for the first time in months she began to feel desire. She stood, looked good at herself, then went to get her hair fixed.

To win the trip to Hawaii, you have to listen to the radio station pretty much all day. They play all kinds of annoying music, especially in the afternoon. It is the idea of blue that keeps you on the line, the idea volcanoes cool to such an extent you can see where you are going.

When she began to be depressed, she said she lost interest in her children, forgot her obligations to them, and turned them over to her sister whose phone calls she stopped taking.

Now, when she talks about the places she would like to visit before she dies, she keeps saying she’ll finally go once she gets straight. I say to her, you won’t be straight until you die. You might as well figure out some other way to go.

Someone I know gives all of the tenderness in him to his children who are as sweet as I have seen, yet he is mean in his dealings with everyone else, especially his ex-wife, who works hard to be tender but firm with her children who sometimes test her because they fear they will lose their father.

Those who work with this man suppose he is brilliant, suppose he uses the sharpness of his thinking to discover what they cannot imagine. Their fear of him keeps him just where he wants to be.

He wants to be less distressed.

For now, his daughter depends on him to say she is pretty. She makes heavy bows from ribbons of many colors, and she fixes them on the wall above his desk.

Forrest Hamer is the author of two books of poetry, Call & Response (Alice James, 1995) and Middle Ear (Roundhouse, 2000).


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