Oxymorons by William Matthews

Summer school, and jumbo shrimp, of course.
Friendly fire, famous poet, common sense,
and, until very recently, safe sex:
Blind date, sure thing, amicable divorce.

Also there’s loyal opposition,
social security, deliberate speed.
How about dysfunctional family?
Eyes blackened, hearts crushed, the damn thing functions.

Some things we say should coat our tongues with ash.
Drug-Free School Zone? No way: it’s our money
our children toke, snort and shoot up while we
vote against higher property taxes.

Want a one-word oxymoron? Prepay.
Money’s—forgive me—rich in such mischief:
trust officer, debt service, common thief—
these phrases all want to have it both ways

and sag at the middle like decrepit beds.
Religious freedom—doesn’t that sound good?
And some assisted living when we’re old
and in our cryptic dreams the many dead

swirl like a fitful snow. We’ll wake and not
think of our living wills or property.
We’ll want some breakfast. Our memories
will be our real estate, all that we’ve got.

This entry was posted in poetry, words and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Oxymorons by William Matthews

  1. JEROME BLOOM says:

    WOW

    GLADI

    FINALLY

    CAUGHT

    UP

    WITH

    THIS

    POEM

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