Fall 2020, Volume 29

Poetry by Walter Bargen

More Better

Maybe not careful enough

                                             And that’s a problem.

It’s not care

                                    But something more.

Care doesn’t reach                    deep enough

                      And, of course, there’s

The More better,                                  the gift

       Of every child,                 at least,

In the mind of the parent,

                                              Clinging to every

Fractured moment of cuteness

                       In order to overcome

The sleepless nights                        the pacing back and forth

Beside the crib                    a room without doors

                                And windows,

Even though there are both.             Counting the coughs

                                           Feeling her forehead,

Wanting to do more,     

                      Begging for more when there is nothing

More to do                     but survive

              Another hour               to wait out

The witching hour         listen to the howl of the wolf’s hour

                       Split Zeno’s hour finer and finer

Toward an end that                  never wants

         To be reached                         and I don’t want to.

Better to end it here

                               Than end alone falling

Over some unforeseen edge.

                                          Then the wail to be fed

And the more careful cry

                                 And the more careful caring.




BIO: Walter Bargen has published 23 books of poetry. Recent books include: Days Like This Are Necessary: New & Selected Poems (2009), Trouble Behind Glass Doors (2013), Too Quick for the Living (2017), My Other Mother’s Red Mercedes (2018), and Until Next Time (2019). His awards include: a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and the William Rockhill Nelson Award.  He was appointed the first poet laureate of Missouri (2008-2009). www.walterbargen.com