While going through folders of old papers I came across the following poem. I’m not ready to throw it out, but don’t know what to do with it. As we’ve begun to feel the weather turn here, and I suspect it will be a cold season, I post it as
Unbeknownst to the clerk, thousands of white shirt collars
were at that moment being starched to exactness.
A hunger pang, he thought.
The tidy picture sketched above is encased, for the convenience of all,
within a square oak frame.
Somewhere on the heaps, from the
heaps, lips twitched, parted
as if to say,
My hand for your hand
the two waltzed to the turn
of the century while outside
the wind blew furiously.
Dad, the boy implored of his dead father, why, after so many years,
do you continue to come back? The father’s only response
was to leave the Christmas decorations up until Easter.
somewhat in the manner of a poorly maintained mustache
Wow! Rows of champagne bottles!
Later that evening the two were found still dancing.
The monk’s house was out of order, and the suggestion slowly gained hold
that this would be the flavor of the future.
Close-by two men dug a ditch in the moonlight.
A “good boy”, he peeled his head of its hat like a potato.
His hands quivered like stapled reading assignments in the wind
while he edged his sneakers through the mud and stones
of the new home construction site,
with its ditches and exposed pipes. Broken now, to
his old home.
She sighed in the candlelight.
A skull is a delicate thing.
In sleep tonight who will I be? And who
will meet me there?
with the scantest information, such as the coldness of these sheets.
I only know I invest all in the posture I show, a flimsy and
unreliable contraption, barefoot on ice in flowing nightgown,
but it’s all I have. It has worked so far, has withstood many
surprises and I’m pleased to note I’ve managed to revise it
based on lumps from those surprises, but tonight I don’t know
I don’t know, when that stack of books in the moonlight
looks like a stack of old cakes. But I’ve eaten them! I cry,
and immediately withdraw. It’s close to midnight, after all,
and I have to get up to starch those collars.
not yet quitting time.
The two dance still. The digging continues. The monk,
on his way home after dark, is observed by multiple eyes
from the bushes.