Wednesday, April 24, 2013

METRO LACE

III. (continued)



April 24

Poetry, people, is what you make of it,
possibility shooting from your fingers
like sun rays, like lasers,
and you glad to nourish
your old soul
with new wine.

Your shoes arranged in a line
comfort you in the midst of panic,
as if any sign of what you use
daily and without thought
can speak in your defense.

People are always coming and going,
sometimes speaking, or eating,
sometimes falling asleep,
or sitting where they block your view
of someone else.

There is no just punishment.
Everything is its own reward
and its own retribution,
and if you need to believe
in a morality meted and doled,
or scientifically arrived at,
take up a collection, sign a petition,
pause in that great stampede
for the exit.  The waltz
across the centuries
will include you if you let it.

Prayers are like confetti
falling up.

***

Quaking, queasy, he asked me,
querulously, if I hadn't—by chance—
some change I could spare
or maybe some advice
for what to do in such situations,
or even the number of a woman
not too choosy, glad of company,
and easy on the eyes,
or, failing that, the name
of a place where he could get
a decent meal, home cooking,
no frills, good honest fare,
or maybe I could direct him
to an outfit still hiring,
still in need of a worker
not particular about the work,
or, if not that, then a master
engaged in tasks for which
his talents might be suited.
Had I heard of him,
he wanted to know, did I suspect
he had once been his mother's
favorite, his father's pride,
sweetheart of a cheering section,
though now forgotten, mostly.

Quietly, quickly, I answered his
questions in the negative
and stepped into the street.

***

Rain runs down the window.
Rain washes the lane.

Repeat the charge, if you would,
remember I'm hard of hearing.

Rushing winds shriek overhead.
Roses quiver.

Returning to the library
requires a certain fortitude.

Random questions circulate
relentlessly, fill him with fear,
remorse, wishing for
release from his own shadow.

Rare moments of peace
restore him, grant him
rest from overwrought
reactions to unjust
recriminations.

Red skies foretold the storm.

Raised voices told the story,
received by all as fated,
recalling an early
ruin and no
recourse.

***


©Donald Brown 2010/2013

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