This weeks' tandem poetry  - "wanted" - is brought to you from writers in Cannon Falls, Minnesota; Mill Valley, California, Dahlonega, Georgia; the United Kingdom, Amherst, Massachusetts, and Nutley, New Jersey, among others.

. . .

by Wendy Lewis

There had been bliss, truly.
That prescient stone in my belly gathered moss
when I couldn’t wait to get home. She was right about
“everything erodes, eventually”. I was smug and laughed,
even though I’d already suffered landslides.
Worship praises the tightest bud and clouds
spit ice on the prairie—the greasy crows never
fly south. I can hear them
on the roadside, bitching and
feasting over the surprised.

. . . 

by Naomi Newman

What drove the most wanted man to have his
picture pasted on every bank and jail wall?
I wanted to be famous and now I want to be able to lift my left arm.
We fill our short life hopping from one desire to another
until getting to the toilet in time is all that matters.
When I begged for a cashmere sweater, pleading that all the girls had one,
my immigrant parents said that’s exactly why I should not.
They wanted more for me than passing pleasures.
I still hear my mother’s Yiddish accented words,
“You think you need a new dress for the party? Then it won’t be much fun.”

. . .

by Lyn Hopper

Juanita is no desperado, no desperate housewife.
She is just despondent, borders on despair.
Disengagement lures her from behind the fence.
She wonders: is it enough, being wanted by one's own?
Desolation lurks behind her left shoulder;
Does she dare believe that promise lies ahead?
Can she muster courage, putting one foot forward,
Then another, knowing that the odds are bad?
She won't stay long once on the wanted list.
She aches to feel desire again, desirable.

. . .

by William Essex

There’s a sky on my horizon that’s grey down to the hills
in that wind. Smoke sideways from that chimney, and that tree
so wants to leave. But in this tucked-away silence, nothing moves.
This is the window to my room, not the window to the world,
as it pretends. What is wanted now, wanted always but the want
known at last, is a glass transparent to movement, transparent
to living. This is me revealed, separate in the category of the injured,
stretchered, treated, talked across, left to heal, alone with the machines
and the drip. Here, sparks have the value of fire; each smile is a contact
of souls. The gift is to know what I had, and could have again.

. . .

by Shoshi Hereld

Gallop your horses into dreams
and deserts full of stars
A picture perfect posted truth
may put you behind bars
Unless you follow streaking crows
Who leave a footless trail
And race the wisps of cloud ahead
wherever they may sail
Then none collect any reward
Save you returning to your adored.

. . .

by Amy Williamson

Knock. Knock. she says, holding her breath for a split second
before continuing the task of changing his diaper. Muttering, vampire,
into the waiting silence. Vampire State Building.
She laughs out loud at the absurdity of life.
One morning she could be folding laundry, watching Matt Lauer
climb the sides of Kilauea, mesmerized by fiery lava blasting a frothing sea.
Never imagining catastrophe and ash would soon rain down on her own city,
an armageddon attack turning a beloved space briefly into a war zone.
A different kind of eruption, one which would leave her husband cracked and spitting,
the molten shell of a man she never wanted.

. . .

by Jan Johnson

The gray of another cold winter dawn slides gently over tired eyes, announcing gently the arrival of the new day.  She burrows further into the comfort of 600-count sheets, her plush pillow especially designed for a side sleeper.  Stay in yesterday, where she can still make corrections to omissions and commissions, painful to the soul, harmful to the heart.

She sighs and gives up this useless struggle, pushing up from her comfortable nest, blinking at silvery raindrops tinkling against the windows.  A new day.  Can’t stop them.

She begins her litany of requests to the Omniscient, seasoning each intercession with praise, with thanksgiving.  An insurance policy against not being heard.

She tries not to keep a scorecard, to calculate her batting average.

Maybe this time she’ll hit one out of the park.

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