Morton Marcus

All these things: the wind
sailing in from the wrong quarter
that folds the ship up on a reef,
entering an apartment door
we were certain was ours
but is the neighbor’s, jamming
our right foot into our left shoe,
or the nagging nerve in the tooth
like a door buzzer pressed all night
by a drunk on the street, even
the cancer gnawing into the bone
of your left cheek — all these things
that daily make us smile
or shudder, should give us pause.
“She shoulda married Tony,
then there wouldn’t be this trouble,”
the old woman on the bus
muttered to her daughter,
not realizing that the trouble
was what this is all about.

Morton Marcus

. . . was the 1999 Santa Cruz County Artist of the Year. He has published nine volumes of poetry and one novel, including The Santa Cruz Mountain Poems, Pages From A Scrapbook of Immigrants (Coffee House), When People Could Fly (Hanging Loose), and most recently Moments Without Names: New & Selected Prose Poems (White Pine Press, 2002) and Shouting Down The Silence: Verse Poems 1988-2001 (Creative Arts Books, 2002). More than 400 poems have been published, and his work has appeared in some 80 anthologies in the United States, Europe and Australia.