Poem of the Week, by Mark Kraushaar

A friend of mine had a husband –lost to cancer now– who saw no reason to stint on the bubbly. Any occasion, he’d pop the cork and fill the flutes. My daughters and I were in the kitchen enjoying a glass of wine the other night, and I was telling them about this guy, and right away we decided to go out to dinner, because we could, so we should. Right? Then I decided that from here on out there’ll be a celebration every day. Go for a run, celebrate! Make a loaf of bread, celebrate! Teach a class, celebrate! Call a friend, celebrate! Wake up still alive? Hell yes.

What If the Hokey Pokey Really Is What It’s All About?
– Mark Kraushaar

You put your right foot in,
            You put your right foot out … ,
            That’s what it’s all about.

            —The Hokey Pokey, Larry LaPrise, 1948

Of an evening filled with wide-set
bright stars I think of my friends, Ray, Sara,
Father Hay, and Phil and Joe.
I think of them together and I think of them alone:
Friends, what better than to put your right foot in,
and what better than to take it out again?

What better than to leave your jacket
and your drink and join
the circled strangers on the floor?
What better than to put your left foot in
and then to take it out since
who’ll explain this strange life anyway,
the problems with love, the trouble with money?
It must be what is meant, this must be what’s intended.
What better than to leave your silent trying behind
and put your right foot in once more
then shake it all about?
What better than having said too little
or too much you join the farmer with his wife
and daughter, the couple with their
squeaky walkers, the FedEx man,
the florist and the LPN?
It must be what is meant,
this must be what it’s all about:
what better than to join the high-heeled,
high-haired waitress first pausing and laughing,
then leaning to her friend the grinning busboy
who, putting his elbow in then out again,
now shakes it all about.


For more information on Mark Kraushaar, please click here.

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One comment

  1. Tessa · May 30, 2015

    I love this.


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