Image of shelter



Nothing should ever
be turned to "high,"
I seem to believe --

not the window fan
(even in August heat),
not the three-way bulb

in the living-room lamp,
not the heater in the car.
Moderation in all things.

The stereo should never
be played too loud, the
gas pedal should never

be pushed down too far
(I imagine cylinders
blowing apart), not even

the water in the shower
should ever be turned on
full blast. But why?

I come from cautious
stock, but a person can
be too careful, can't he?

Still, I never take risks.
Not with the fan, not
on the road, not with love --

nothing should ever
be turned to "high,"
except windshield wipers,

and the flame under the
kettle, and the longing
in each night's dreams.

August, 2000

Poems page | The Biemiller Ice and Coal Co.