Poetry and Lights 2022

Stored Energy  


by Cheryl Caesar

Every time you stooped to pet the cat 

and she reared up on two legs,  

fitting her head into your hand 

like a ball in a cup; 


And every time you went to shut the fridge 

and the door so graciously said, Allow me, 

and finished closing itself; 

And each time  

that magnetic charging cable leaped  

into the port, like an eager cadet;  


Not to mention all the green lights  

you hit, and the mornings 

(rarer now) when the life force  

propelled you from your bed  

before the voice of duty called: 


Surely these have all been adding up. 

Surely there’s a cache of energy 

somewhere. Didn’t Einstein say 

it’s never lost? Let’s go 


through pockets, and turn over  

sofa cushions, like kids  

who hear the ice-cream bells. 


Let’s scoop it up like Ali Baba’s 

armfuls of gold, sprinkle it like dust 

from Tinkerbell’s wand, on every head 

we meet. Let’s all glitter like sequins 

on a tap dancer, shimmer like tinsel 

on a tree. Let’s spangle. And then: 


reach down to your innermost  

branches. Flip that forgotten  

switch. And shine, shine, shine. 


(An earlier version of this poem appeared in “The Wild Word” in 2019.) 

 Cheryl Caesar studied comparative literature at the Sorbonne, and now teaches writing at Michigan State University. She serves as secretary for the Lansing Poetry Club, whose recent collaboration with the Poets’ Club of Chicago, “Words Across the Water II” (available from Fractal Edge Press), features her poetry and artwork. 

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