what practice makes

The fence behind the house is only clenched
teeth, where the sparrows and wildflowers
go to get eaten. The world keeps going but we donít
know for whom, our neighbor has been gone
years, either hit by a train or consumed with love.

Tired weather in the field defines the nature
of our hours, with dark river clouds or the immortal
sun. Either way it gets us moving.

You hang the clothes on the line to get dusty and dry.
Iíve driven more nails into the leaning porch.
What quiet dinners we have. Blaming it all
on the busy day while our disillusioned neighbor
wanders out there, trying to get his life better.

I know there are dreams that wash over the bed, and
the horizon moves like a hoola-hoop when no one is
looking. Sometimes Iím breathing a prayer so honest
it beats the heart for it, though I never know what
it says or what I should do next. Such is the way

of breath turning to wind. And how strange that renewal
is never pure. How skilled the hand is quietly turning
out the bedside lamp.

Rob Talbert is a former corrections officer from San Antonio. His poetry has appeared in American Poetry Review, Ninth Letter, The Portland Review, and others. He currently lives in Virginia. (

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761