Life on this planet

It’s getting harder
to live on this planet.
It’s one thing after another.
Unemployment, rising prices,
the new dent in my car,
the national debt,
my arthritis,
the corpse-strewn streets
of Middle East cities
the wreckage of Haiti,
the bill Medicare won’t pay after all,
whining middle-aged children.

It can’t keep going this way
I say to my neighbor
across the fence.
She agrees with a yawn
that it has to stop
and shows me the latest
picture of herself and the dog
in Halloween attire.

Somehow my heart
is not working right

I say to myself.
It takes longer
each morning
to warm up this
organ of love.

—Hanne Gault, Ellison Bay