Bandwidth

I found a typo in my last poem, let's hope this one is clean :) I don't have the bandwidth for final final editing sometimes!

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Bandwidth


I never hear someone say,
“I have the bandwidth for that”
It always begins with “I don’t....”
It has become my favorite phrase,
how it absolves us of guilt or shame,
not I simply don’t want to or lack skills or am lazy.
There is no need to cover up
I would rather go to happy hour or
binge on the sixth season of reality television.
It makes our resistance seem physical
rather than a preference,
merely a cell tower that hasn’t been erected,
a satellite not yet launched.

We have become so efficient,
so accustomed to cramming,
we strategize more than Caesar
while hanging virtual gardens of Babylon,
after processing more information than
England’s Henrys combined.
Takeout has erased “I have to make dinner,”
online blogs have buggered relaxation
while reading the newspaper,
no one demurs a date on Saturday night
because they need to wash their hair.

When I hear bandwidth
I think of grosgrain ribbon,
the kind decorating straw derby hats
that men wore while playing in gazebos in parks,
trombone, shiny patent leather shoes,
pants with creases in them, couples swing dancing.
It must have taken a long time to pull all that together,
we once had to iron and used curlers,
learned to move together in time.
The females who said "my dance card is full"
as they twirled away, now twerk at raves.

I have started making a list-
I currently have no digital hertz for Facebook
no analog bits for a new App or Audible,
for podcasts or driving across town for soccer practice,
forget scrapbooking and styling my hair.
Sorry, I won’t be bundling or upgrading,
installing new software or changing servers.

Having always had trouble saying no,
I am considering a raft of cliches so I don’t have to,
my tank is on empty, my cake isn't baked,
my shoes need to be reheeled,
my metal has been shipped to China,
I pitched all my fastballs,
thank you but my bells have tolled.

My bandwidth is like the worn edging on
a beloved security blanket, reminiscent
of the song “My Favorite Things,”
like girls in white dresses with pink satin sashes,
I say yes to bright copper kettles and warm
woolen mittens, snowflakes and eyelashes,
please to books and rose gardens and bicycles.
I won’t help you move, but will organize your closet,
can’t join the board but will take on a boarder.

"I don’t have the bandwidth for that"
has replaced "my plate is full,"
both analogies that reflect the famine and fluff of life,
which is a sometimes a buffet at Las Vegas,
a french pastry shop, a u-pick berry farm.
If we are lucky, our hardest decisions
are because of too many too good things.
At times we employ a trough
slop on experiences and obligations,
and in other moments we can barely
manage a tea cup saucer,
only allowing for bergamot, two sugar cubes,
a mouthful of cream.