How Much Is Enough / Helen Wickes

Best mother insists, when you fall off a horse
get your butt back on, get on with business

Good enough teacher hisses, learn it
by heart, thumping her scrawny, echoey chest

The scary aunt, sniffing the air around you,
announces that your aura is muddy

Good dog sleeps on your bed, pleased for company
best cat hovers, plots, fulfilling a destiny

Okay pal says, it’s cancer, join the crowd,
what’s new, have you written anything good

Best father teaches you how to shoot the .22
and make the marinade for venison

Best husband hides not just the handgun, its clip
but also the key to unlock the safety

Beloved grandmother raises her binocs to look
for a bunting, saying, I never wanted kids

Good enough pal says the poem is awful,
really, how could you, this is garbage

Best horse leans his face down,
sniffs, nibbles, still wants to climb onto our laps.