“Mostly Not” Sonnet • Maurice Oliver

A “For Sale” sign on the lawn.
The morning paper. The front
stoop. Ritz crackers and golden
cheddar cheese on a white plate.
Cauliflower in the garden. Kids
chasing an ice cream truck. Your
painted handprint on art paper.
A fresh pair of pajamas on the
bed. Whiskey breath. Contact lens.
A motorcycle but no helmet. One
false I.D. Two telephone poles.
The emergency room of a hospital.
A jailhouse directly across from
the school. Puppies willing to
lick your hand. A soft pack of
cigarettes. A jet plane heading
west. High hedges that divide
the property line. A row of rusty
garbage cans. The hum of an attic
fan. Fingers drumming a table.
Moonlight moving over the carpet.
Dreams on a tiny scrap of paper.