Brave Songs, Tired Songs

from by Fiona Chamness

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When things get really bad I make my bed
I get the covers neat, I bake some bread, I eat, I get my work done
I am very careful
I am quite efficient, I'm a good woman, I am simple

& it's a sunny morning though the winter come
I'll hang out the clothes & whistle some, who knows, it may get better
I am not resigned
There's a warm blanket, there's a glow of leaf-fall, there's enough time

But please, let's not sing any more brave songs, you & I, you & I

They leave & leave & leave & leave & leave
& you brush your teeth & hug your friends & grieve & shrug
& keep on thinking
Set the kitchen table
Say this one's not missing, think of almost losing & be grateful

For this is all that's left for me to do
We are warm & sturdy-armed & pulling through unharmed
& I am coping
I am drinking cider
They are here & gone, it is sweet & biting, it is quiet

But please, let's not sing any more brave songs, I am tired, I am tired
& please don't say you won't stay long, I am tired, I am tired, I am tired

& much of life is keeping very still
Staying by the windowsill until it's spill, spill, spill & then be empty
Til you take it easy
Then it's pick you up & it's dust you off & get you ready

& it's getting so it's dark at 6:00
I'd like to stay indoors & let us rock back & forth until we're sleeping
Wait out the season
Let's not say sorry, let's be rid of sorry til the sorrow lessen

& please, let's not sing any more brave songs, say they're done
Say they're down


from Dispatches From the Well, released October 3, 2012



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Fiona Chamness Ann Arbor, Michigan

Fiona Chamness is a poet and songwriter from Ann Arbor, MI. She is coauthor, with Aimée Lê, of Feral Citizens, published in 2011 by Red Beard Press. She belongs to the poetry ensemble Ann Arbor Wordworks and two bands, Helicopter Parents and The Cutting Room Floor. She has performed poetry and music in Ann Arbor, Chicago, Oberlin, Hanover, Boston, St. Louis, Berkeley, and Sevilla, Spain. ... more

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