Daisy Fried

Quickies in Widowhood with three instances of laughter (one not narrated), two instances of crying
October 23, 2022 Fried Daisy

Quickies in Widowhood
with three instances of laughter (one not narrated), two instances of crying


1. Flies
(first crush, after)


the whiteness of
cheeses, corn puffs,
animal crackers,
the salt and milk,
napkins, even
the plasticware
at my sidewalk picnic,
the neighborhood flies
were already
beside themselves
with delight
when I poured him
a snifter of tawnier
brandy. Then,
they swarmed
as he swirled
and opened
his mouth to sip;
I watched
his tongue,
pink writhing muscle,
he spat
after one fly tried
to settle there.



2. Blister


You showed me
the place
your snake pants
where you touched
them by accident
to the metal
of the flaming chimenea, but
did not show me
where the knob
of your big toe
blistered up
to pain you
when you tried
to walk
nor did you explain
why you were
barefoot in January.
All I know is
you were laughing
till you screamed
all afternoon
out there that day
with your friends,
first time since
your dad died.

for Maisie



3. Times We Had to Pause, Recording the Podcast,
or Little Essay on the Emotions


First with the poem
about the nursing home,
I started to cry
right as we figured out
the exact moment collective
changed to subjective


Then, when
you two were explaining
Aristotle’s “continent man”
and, thinking about
poopy pants, I couldn’t
find it in myself to
stop snickering.

for Glorious and Sebastian



4. Let’s fly to the castle!


It wasn’t your bomber, old boots,
duplicate copy of the Shaw bio,
or your wheelchairs that made me
feel I couldn’t breathe—
I was glad to see those go—but
our girl’s Princess Celestia,
she who raises the sun and moon
in the Land of Equestria,
that feminine ponytopia,
trebling my hair is so pretty
in weakening voice from inside
the 30-gallon garbage bag
I dropped at the curb.
Guilty, crying, I dashed
to save, save them
from my zeal and determination,
to fish back Twilight
Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash,
Rarity and Apple Jack, Fluttershy
and Zecora, even Nightmare Moon,
but especially the Princess,
and ran barefoot, no bra.
All I saw was the garbage truck,
the men hanging on,
disappearing round the corner,
pale pony princess
with blue and green
artificial hair, churning in its maw.



5. Yahrzeit


My thought
after the rioters
the Vermont mittens
     and supple purple leather gloves
after the snowstorms
     of uncharacteristic timing
     and volume
the scoldings
     and shitstorms
after vaccines and sickenings
after the angers and fears
after hurricanes set up their artistic swirl shapes
     on the weather channels
                 and radar apps
and rock and roll and cello sonatas
and Texas and dread
and falling in love again
            strange, you’re still dead
Anyways, I’m sitting on my boyfriend’s deck
all the way on the other side of the great land
watching all the colors going golden
or all sherbet-y
ascending a hillside
and my mind thinks out there all on its own
oh good and soon
you’ll get home and we’ll all be here.
The wind snuffs
the yahrzeit candle my boyfriend lit for his wife
Oh shit, he says,
a look on his face, relights it,
moves it out of the window.
The vista going purple,
plums ripening, tall tree points its tip
at the raven who caws blackly
iridescent at its top.

Daisy Fried is the author of four books of poetry: The Year the City Emptied: After Baudelaire, Women’s Poetry: Poems and AdviceMy Brother is Getting Arrested Again, and She Didn’t Mean to Do It. She has been awarded Guggenheim, Hodder and Pew Fellowships, is poetry editor for the journal Scoundrel Time, occasionally reviews poetry for the New York Times and elsewhere, and is member of the faculty of the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers. She lives in Philadelphia.