Jim Reese
Page 3

Jesus Christ Pose

I walk both sides of this fence.
I have no sympathy for those who premeditate
 and execute heinous crimes.
In a theatre practicum in San Quentin
I watch you, a prisoner, standing
in the center of the room.
You raise your hands, palms up,
head dangling down,
your Jesus Christ pose.
You begin to stand on one foot.
The room is quiet.  People begin
shifting in their seats.
Minutes pass.  You begin to lose your balance.

Every morning
, you say, after my foster father left for work,
she made me stand in the corner like this.

When your desperate left foot
hits the ground
you scream in the voice of a child
being beaten.
And now I understand why
some of you are here.



The Keeper of All Things
Whole and Necessary

puts leftover food in little plastic
baby food containers and yogurt cups
she has hoarded.  Will leave
half a chicken wing
for someone else to eat.
Wraps up and refrigerates
one slice of bacon.
Puts lemon juice on half an apple
so it won’t turn brown.
Washes and packrats
straws with holes and plastic silverware
with broken tines.
Has a drawer full of mustard,
barbeque and soy sauce packages
from take-out restaurants
from out of town. 
Has personalized greeting cards
that she will white-out and reuse.
Cuts coupons (sometimes expired).  Cuts up
and collects newspaper articles
if she knows someone in the article or
knows someone who knows the person
in the article.
Gives me play-by-plays of garage sales
and auctions.
Saves fresh scraps for stray cats—bones
for the dogs.  Saves for Jesus
and saves for you.
Picks green tomatoes before the first winter freeze.
Wraps them in tissue paper—serves them for
Thanksgiving dinner. 
Balances soap dispensers
upside-down like others do with
ketchup bottles, and eventually
combines them in one bottle. 
Has a room full of old jeans
in case her husband’s overalls
need patching or her son-in-law’s
crotch blows out. 
Makes pie crust from hog lard.
(The only way to make pie crust).
Has full canning jars from the 80’s.
Has unidentifiable things older than dirt
in her deep freeze.
Once I saw her pull a tarp
for a pick-up bed out
from underneath her dresser.

I’ve been holding on to this,
I don’t know how long. 

If you need something—
a blow torch,
numb chucks, twist-ties,
marbles, propane, a chandelier,
suspenders, goat cheese, a curtain rod,
spare tire, a putter, basin wrench, bell bottoms, a bowling ball—
she’s your woman.



© Copyright, 2012, Jim Reese.
All rights reserved.