Poem at Your Doorstep
By: Jake Sheff
When death is at a distance, life’s a bore.
When death is at a distance, I’m a spore.
When D is at a D door and road.
When death is distant speaking ten-cent tongues.
When death is at a distance, Fire! Run!
Or in the rosy distance rosy-cheeked
When country home
When the dead are a distant second
When death is at a distance girl and boy.
When death is disadvantage north and south.
When food and drink, when Thinker, think!
When travel far. When call collect.
When death is retroactive pay respect.
When death is on an island pave the way.
(The French call it Rue the Day.)
When go get dressed when little song
When promise me (when snag) when don’t be long.
Jake Sheff is a pediatrician in Oregon and veteran of the US Air Force. He’s married with a daughter and whole lot of pets. Poems of Jake’s are in Radius, The Ekphrastic Review, Crab Orchard Review, The Cossack Review and elsewhere. He won 1st place in the 2017 SFPA speculative poetry contest and a Laureate’s Choice prize in the 2019 Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest. Past poems and short stories have been nominated for the Best of the Net Anthology and the Pushcart Prize. He’s also published translations of poetry and reviews of translated poetry collections. His chapbook is “Looting Versailles” (Alabaster Leaves Publishing). A full-length collection of formal poetry, “A Kiss to Betray the Universe,” is available from White Violet Press.
You can find Jake @jake_sheff on Twitter and Instagram.