Domestic Poem: After Reading Omens by Danusha Lameris

Roberta Beary

Because we can’t know what’s next, I say,
the dandelions multiplied overnight,
but you mowed the lawn yesterday,
or was it last Thursday?
The days are melting into one another.
I thought today was Friday but it's Sunday.
I know because you cooked sausages for breakfast.
Today on our walk you say, what a lovely afternoon.
It’s only 11:30 in the morning, I mumble.
Surreptitiously I lift my sleeve.
My moonface watch shows 2:30.

Because we can’t know what’s next, I say,
You were right and I was wrong.
Something I never would before all this.
It starts to rain, we turn around for home.
I stare at the dandelions. You read the paper.
Rain turns to mist turns to sunshine.

Because we can’t know what’s next
you plug in the lawn mower.
Its bright orange cord cuts us in two
me seated at the kitchen table
you on your patch of green, headphones on.

Because we can’t know what’s next
The Times is open to page 23.
I wait till mower faces shed
to turn the paper to page one.
When you ask me why I say,
because we can’t know what’s next.

Roberta Beary lives in Co. Mayo, Ireland. Their work appears in Tiny Love Stories: True Tales of Love in 100 Words or Less (New York Times, 2020) and One Breath: Notes from the Reluctant Engagement Project (Doire Press/ Clan Beo, 2021) which pairs their writing with artwork by families of people with disabilities.