Two Poems by Seward Ward

Like/Well

Like a lot of gamblers
I’m superstitious

Like a lot of drunks
I’m full of excuses

Like a lot of artists
I’m inarticulate

Like a lot of cowards
I live with secrets

Like a lot of memories
I’m fleeting and suspect

Like a lot of losers
I’m bitter and feel cheated

Like a lot of winners
I’ve gotten a little lucky

Like a lot of lovers
I’m stylish and handsome

Like a lot of survivors
I’m stronger than I look

Like a lot of moths
I fly towards the light

Like a lot of evenings
I’m still and cool

Like the sand dunes by the ocean
Like a soaring seagull
Like the squeal of someone else’s baby
Like the smell of salt and lemonade
Like the rush of the ice cold water
Like the strength of the tireless waves
Like a day at the beach on a weekend away from work
With my gawky, adolescent children
I’m occasionally blessed, sunburnt
And remarkably

Well.

 

Jobs

My job as a server
Sucks, but taught me humility and resolve

My job as a husband
Taught me how to compromise
And mean it

My job as a father
Tested my courage
And then tested it some more

My job as a poet
Taught not every job is about
Money

My job as a hammock
Taught me how to be affable and easy

My job as the grass in the yard below the hammock
Taught me how to be soft and resilient
Simultaneously

My job as the darkness above the grass
Taught me how to be effortless, calm and engulfing

My job as a the lightning bugs in the engulfing darkness
Taught me how to flicker and glisten

How to pepper the sky with quick, magical bursts
Moving and dancing

On and off
Like a floating string of anticipated, silver, Christmasy bulbs

Or tiny, low slung
Catchable stars

In  the middle of a quiet, hot
New Jersey night;

But, still,
My job as a server sucks.


Seward Ward is a poet, painter and longtime New York City bartender. He has published poems in the Washington Review, Dogwood, Avalon Literary Review, and Art Times. He lives in northern New Jersey with his wife, daughters and two unnaturally large cats.