It’s easier to write than sit and gawk
at someone paid to listen to me whine,
a therapist who only gives her time
as long as I can pay without a squawk,
show up on time and never seem to balk
at anything she claims will fix my mind,
that fertile place she’d like to bring in line
with everybody else’s doubletalk.
I’d rather be alone with this blank page
than gaze into her kind of caring face,
than stare at all her books, her framed degrees.
This page won’t try to pacify my rage,
or numb my grief with promises of grace
if I could only live the life she sees.
Allison Joseph lives in Carbondale, Illinois, where she is Professor of English and Director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Southern Illinois University. She serves as poetry editor of Crab Orchard Review. Her books and chapbooks include What Keeps Us Here (Ampersand Press), Soul Train (Carnegie Mellon University Press), In Every Seam (University of Pittsburgh Press), Worldly Pleasures (Word Tech Communications), Imitation of Life (Carnegie Mellon UP), Voice: Poems (Mayapple Press), My Father’s Kites (Steel Toe Books), Trace Particles (Backbone Press), Little Epiphanies (NightBallet Press), Mercurial (Mayapple Press), Mortal Rewards (White Violet Press), Multitudes (Word Poetry), The Purpose of Hands (Glass Lyre Press), Double Identity (Singing Bone Press) Corporal Muse (Sibling Rivalry Press, forthcoming) and What Once You Loved (Barefoot Muse Press). Her most recent full-length collection, Confessions of a Barefaced Woman was published by Red Hen Press in June 2018. She is the literary partner and wife of poet and editor Jon Tribble.