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Usual Morning

Kenneth Pobo


I get up, put the coffee on,

feed the cats, and pee.

A knock at the front door —


it’s Theodore Roethke,

fresh from death. Hello Theodore.

Hello Kenneth. We talk about

greenhouses. And waking up slow.

And do I know anyone who is lovely

in their bones. Yes, I do.

Many people in fact. My bones

creak. I tell him that death

makes him look refreshed,

no more sags and bags. He says

shedding the mortal coil

has some perks, but death

is like life. Only longer.

I offer him a geranium

which he puts his face in.


He disappears, half angel,

half joker, the sun

like a basket on his head.

Kenneth Pobo (he/him) is the author of twenty-one chapbooks and nine full-length collections. Recent books include Bend of Quiet (Blue Light Press), Loplop in a Red City (Circling Rivers), Lilac and Sawdust (Meadowlark Press), and The Book of Micah (Moonstone Arts). His work has appeared in North Dakota Quarterly, Asheville Literary Review, Nimrod, Washington Square Review, Mudfish, Hawaii Review, and elsewhere.

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