Laughter dies a cruel but temporary deathlaughter
only seconds after my arrival home.
Withered amidst strain; slackening, slighted.
Bitten through, the instant hangs hateful and hard,
typically lacking grace and form.
Evening greetings are lost among refrigerator odors.
The kitchen walls give way to padded ropes.
Cloaks cast down, we slowly snarl and circle
(we two who pledged to keep us only to…).
Flailing with trembling and flaccid fingers,
better at keeping score than slashing sinews.
Yet laughter arises again, between us,
Casting a glow of embarrassing hue
across the sink and counter.
Blame the stress, or life, or brittle waiting
(but blame us too)
Laughter will die again, and die, and stiffen.
And laughter will surely rise…?
but no, not surely.
Under the weight of tentative trust,
many threads may fail to hold.
May we trust the laughter’s constant source,
despite the redundant rising of rage!

Additional poetry by Peter C. Blum may be found in The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore.

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