Warmth out of season, a stubborn petunia bloomed purple
a man in Home Depot stared up into an artificial tree
I scooted by, wondering what artificial thoughts matched
Joni Mitchell’s If I had skates to skate on,
words printed on a page siding with daughter’s illustration
pups demanding I toss the new ball
I run into a friend I barely know from Facebook,
I smack into her account of holding a pitbull
holding and crying as it died there in the road
and cherishing what was leaking out.
“Cry me a river!” as another sun sets
and a soon to be president ignores and ignores
the sight of that dog prostrate
a bit of Jesus there, hard,
that fake tree a treasure or a bill to the hardware man.

-Lenore Plassman