Who is this gray lady across my lap,
so broad and thick, her head and bottom lines
combined to find the truth around us all?
Who has passion and time to engage her
day by day, to know her proffered charms?
The sinews of her columns, slanting
though they may, uphold
the language of the stories that sustain us,
give us reason and tell us who we are,
at times she is a sedative, sometimes
a stimulant, or a salty barker
at other times a knife between the ribs
of power giving focus to the mass
hallucination of our public lives.
Above the fold, swollen proclamations,
sometimes the pain and grit of lives revealed,
at times that first rough draft of history.
Below, within her seductive sections,
the sweet opioids of crosswords,
style, travel, gossip, and sport,
her daily insistence drawing us on,
sickened on Sunday either by how much
or by how little we have taken in,
until we’re on the nod beneath her weight.
Jilting her on Monday like a chippy,
her inky tatters strewn about the room,
I gather up the gray and wrinkled dame,
day old, but spent, and ready for the bin.