The ache in my shoulders, the itch behind my nose,
The lethargies all over affirm a morrow lost.
As I sip strong tea and reread the miser Grandet’s schemes
And calculate my savings the repairman handed me,
My face feels swollen and I count the blasted days.
I sip strong tea and wonder how many azaleas longer,
Marveling at how patiently the cloistered daughter
Put up with cold when she’d given him all her gold,
That lover who left the country without figuring a sum.
The ache in my shoulder weighs on my anchored future.
The sniffing weakness presses page by page.
A morrow lost till my door swings open once again.
James F. Gaines is a bilingual writer living in Fredericksburg, Virginia. His work has appeared recently in Avocet, Eerie Digest, and Rappahannock Review. He is currently working on a translation of Guillaume Apollinaire’s pre-WWI collection, Alcools.