1. Men and Their Boring Arguments

    One man on his own can be quite good fun
    But don’t go drinking with two -
    They’ll probably have an argument
    And take no notice of you.

    What makes men so tedious
    Is the need to show off and compete.
    They’ll bore you to death for hours and hours
    Before they’ll admit defeat.

    It often happens at dinner-parties
    Where brother disputes with brother
    And we can’t even talk among ourselves
    Because we’re not next to each other.

    Some men like to argue with women -
    Don’t give them a chance to begin.
    You won’t be allowed to change the subject
    Until you have given in.

    A man with the bit between his teeth
    Will keep you up half the night
    And the only way to get some sleep
    Is to say, ‘I expect you’re right.’

    I expect you’re right, my dearest love.
    I expect you’re right, my friend.
    These boring arguments make no difference
    To anything in the end.

    By Wendy Cope

  2. On the Back Porch

    The cat calls for her dinner.
    On the porch I bend and pour
    brown soy stars into her bowl,
    stroke her dark fur.
    It’s not quite night.
    Pinpricks of light in the eastern sky.
    Above my neighbor’s roof, a transparent
    moon, a pink rag of cloud.
    Inside my house are those who love me.
    My daughter dusts biscuit dough.
    And there’s a man who will lift my hair
    in his hands, brush it
    until it throws sparks.
    Everything is just as I’ve left it.
    Dinner simmers on the stove.
    Glass bowls wait to be filled
    with gold broth. Sprigs of parsley
    on the cutting board.
    I want to smell this rich soup, the air
    around me going dark, as stars press
    their simple shapes into the sky.
    I want to stay on the back porch
    while the world tilts
    toward sleep, until what I love
    misses me, and calls me in.

    by Dorianne Laux