My Next Life by Bill Verble

I’m completing the form:
Selection of Next Life
It’s due by Wednesday.

You never know what
you qualify for.
Maybe a tortoise or a redwood
or one brick in a great pyramid.
Maybe the life of a mayfly,
a Big Gulp cup taken to the landfill,
or the mold on a sandwich
forgotten in a locker.

The lives we get
are funny like that.

This time I’m up for a Life of Minuscule Importance
Is this an upgrade?

Section One: Moments and Spaces
(Select One)
 An open door on a parakeet’s cage
 The curtain parting on a stage
 A crack crawling on a dam
 The pop of cork
 The silence in a room with a corpse
 A symphony’s second movement

These don’t appeal, too much like another life
of being overlooked.

Section Two: Portentous Things
(Select One)
 An unfound shard from a shattered plate
 An electrical arc coursing a severed line
 Animal tracks in the muddy grass
 A pickaxe chipping for a vein
✔ A deadly storm’s first falling inches

Oh yes! The first flake of a blizzard
talked about for many years.
That’s the life I want.


Bill Verble lives in Lexington, Kentucky with his family. He’s inspired by his father, a former poetry teacher. His work appeared in the recent edition of The Poeming Pigeon. You can find him online on Twitter at @BillVerble.

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