Mostly Cloudy

by Janet Barry

the women on the TV screen above the bar wear fluorescent dresses, green & pink
against their tanned skin    I am not being catty by saying they have tanned skin     I
describe perfectly manicured hair nails    which clutch the microphone as they inter
view sports celebrities    the old women in the stories are all ugly their breasts hang
down    no one cares that they nursed the squalling baby through the night     morn
ing saw his fever break lungs grow clear       I lay down alone     I wonder if a new
bra would help      an erasure of chemotherapy and surgeons knives      the suckling
of mouths intent on their own lives     there was weeping and a knowledge of failure
to wear fluorescent dresses   neck blotched with some sun cursed rash I check the
weather every morning       the women on the TV screen tell me how to feel about it
sunny is good!   anything otherwise is suspect    rain bad   snow bad   thunderstorms
bad despite the brilliant upturn of leaves that precedes them   confection of clouds
the clean-washed green which follows their passion     I am not tan    I acknowledge
my failure to be sunny     I think     mostly cloudy is okay     mostly cloudy is the best
I can manage today

Copyright 2016, Janet Barry

Janet Barry is a musician and poet with works published in numerous journals and anthologies, most recently Little Lantern Press, Clementine, The Mom Egg, Snapdragon, and Third Wednesday. She serves yearly as a judge for Poetry Out Loud, and has received several Pushcart and Best of the Net nominations, as well as having her poem “Aubade” chosen for inclusion in Best Indie Lit New England (BiLINE). Janet holds degrees in organ performance and poetry.

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