Ronald Baatz: Three Poems

While We Agreed

Finally, it stopped raining.
It had been a windy rain and
the wind and the rain kept
coming through the windows.
It seemed that the small table
where we ate was always wet.
I remember drizzly rain falling
on our eggs.  For some reason,
it was especially noticeable on
the yolks.  Eating eggs wet
from rain was a first for both of us.
But I had only one, whereas
she had eaten two, so we agreed
that she had eaten twice as much
rain as I had eaten. While we agreed
we could hear a cricket chirping.
Just like our eggs, this cricket
also must’ve been rained upon.
No doubt, in the tall boundless grass
sweeping towards a neighboring field
there were other crickets, silent ones
that were also wet. And these crickets,
they were just as silent as our eggs.
We agreed, it was hard to tell one silence
from the other.



After she left I admit I endured
one of the worst years of my life,

a year of suffering so pure, so
unexpected too since it was I who

had pushed hard for the breakup.
Solitude we like to think is easy

to slip back into but it’s not.  It’s not
some old pair of slippers you can

pull out from under the bed. You’ll
quickly find it fraught with the worst

kind of loneliness, loneliness deadly
as a lunatic coming at you with a knife.

Even if you ward it off, without
fail it will come at you again

and again.  Maybe when you
wake startled in the dark

you might discover loneliness
climbing in the window, knife

gleaming in moonlight.
Remembering old prayers

might help.  But maybe not,
maybe your god is

lonely also.  Or maybe your god is
loneliness itself

coming through the window.
Knife gleaming.


Three Small Poems

Plunging sticks
into another steamed dumpling
her toes separate

House sins
ah, not much different
than those committed in the garden

Extravagantly for their
own bliss
peonies die

What are you looking for?