Jeffrey McDaniel Poems
The Quiet World
In an effort to get people to look
into each other's eyes more,
and also to appease the mutes,
the government has decided
to allot each person exactly one hundred
and sixty-seven words, per day.
When the phone rings, I put it to my ear
without saying hello. In the restaurant
I point at chicken noodle soup.
I am adjusting well to the new way.
Late at night, I call my long distance lover,
proudly say I only used fifty-nine today.
I saved the rest for you.
When she doesn't respond,
I know she's used up all her words,
so I slowly ...
My pal, Jake, majored in corruption.
His final exam: a girl from the Midwest,
three weeks to dismantle eighteen years
of good parenting. High results came early
in the easy days, with the principal taking
his puff from the honor role in the bathroom.