TWO POEMS Laura E. Davis
HOW TO HANDLE BOSSY PEOPLE
1. Confront the person in an appreciative way.
Resist the urge to bow when approaching them. If you cannot, keep your hands folded, as if in
prayer. If possible, approach them when they are standing in a parking garage. Wait until they are
fumbling for their keys. Step toward them. Appear as if you are moving backward. Pull them to
2. Release your frustrations.
The key here is to let out all the air in your chest slowly, as a snake would. Do not appear to be
fork-tongued. Do not slouch. Let each word join hands with the one preceding and following.
Smile only if they do first. Avoid shifting eyes and teeth.
3. Stand your ground.
Imagine a box around your feet. If you have trouble visualizing, you may wish to bring tape. Red
works best. Create a small square with red tape. Stand there. If they try to push you, raise your
hands in protest, palms outward. Show them you still have their keys.
4. Give them a taste of their own medicine.
Wear latex gloves. Be certain of this. It can get messy. Spoons are best. You should use a spoon.
Use a spoon. Avoid the teeth always. Aim for the heart or liver. They do the same thing.
Sometimes a syringe is necessary. In these instances, get out their keys. Wrap them in the latex
HOW TO COMPOST
1. Chop Until Nightfall
Find them: snaggle-toothed flowers perhaps.
It helps to chop up larger items, like watermelon
rinds or maybe a luminous angel, before
putting in old ones in beards,
leapers, or odd birds on the wing.
2. Empty Thistles, Goatheads
When your kitchen bucket is full,
a country girl will take it to your composter,
all those with hooks or horns, and tip it
into a lean place with a dark secret.
3. Stir with Juicy Saps
Mix while wearing silk leggings
under the multiple-pocked moons
using a pitchfork,
or other garden tool.
The fingers of thieves
add oxygen, a key component.
4. Cover Nation After Nation with Grasses
Cover your food waste with handholds of old leaves,
lanterns, barbed weeds or soil.
Anything to fill the empty spot.
Then dig in, grab, jaw, borrow.
Add carbon, reduce the chance of odors and winds.
Then put the lid back on.
Come back the next day empty handed.
Watch it cook.
The above poem combines language from a composting manual with Peter Everwine's poem "Back from the Fields" From the Meadow (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2004).