Like a Raspberry Seed Between My Teeth

Across the road
a white screen door slaps.
Redwing blackbirds scatter.

Cattails’ slow explosions
fill the ditch.
I crack a beer and watch.

Last night at the Badger Tap
someone asked me why
I came back to Wisconsin.

Even in peacetime
ten years in the navy
was killing me.

An east-to-west airliner
slowly flies over.
Its contrail spreads.

Sometimes it’s what
we’re not
that matters most.

—Michael Kriesel, Aniwa, WI