Sunday, June 26, 2005

Unpoem#3: For Pooms

An old man crawls by the kerb,
Careful not to spill his memories in the street
And make a mess- for the decent people
Are walking, are walking,
For the decent people are walking to discounts and cold bagels
And don’t need distractions this Thursday morning.

An old man sits on the corner of a park bench,
A shiver begins in his arms, under his spine and he curls up more
Holding his brown paper bag full to his chest
A human bent crook against the ongoing scenery of the decent people
Walking, still walking,
Walking towards bus tickets and coin slots and pull the chord when yer ready to leave, son.

His bag holds, as he knows and crow knows--
(who was the only one who saw him, who cawed to him,
When old bones curled and gasped down the park’s stone stairway
When paper sighed and opened its lips and a few escaped that day blinking into the light.
Crow saw, Crow cawed, man crawled
To pick and put all blinking things back in, to then crawl some more and sit
Under tree, gasping and blinking now, its his turn)—
His bag holds as he knows and crow knows,
Useless, leftover bits that time had picked all the meat out of.
Things like broken words, and ink stained postcards.
One odd shoe, the nose of a kangaroo
Pieces of silver, pieces of lead
Menu cards and a used maiden head
Which was cut out of a magazine, way back in ’75.
A button off a coat, among other things of note
To this old man, who sat, curled, waiting to get used to the cold.

Waiting does not get easier with age, whatever your grandmother might say.
Old man poked a finger into the air of his bag, and felt around:
Hoary worm out of cold ground some September morn.
Leathery powdery fingers pulled a picture from within
Old eyes looked around the edges and then in the middle
Fingers touched the still shiny surface, leaving footprints as they had before
Often, so often.
Eyes trembled, then squeezed shut crying… tears which nourished a crack in the old leather
To open and smile upward, then down again, upon the picture he sat holding
On a bench along the side a busy street with people walking, talking.

A face looks back into you, smiling the way it always used to
Holding a flower that once lived, wearing clothes that were once worn
[and still are, at times, when on a Saturday morning you smile and say why not, not going anywhere.]
Your eyes are forever beautiful, love, and red and orange and vermillion still your colour.
I cannot forget, old as I am.
And you will be loved, old as I am.
Your tears I still keep here in this bag of mine,
Though it often makes the inked words runny.
Your laughter too, though it threatens to run away with my bag and my curled back
And pulls me away to the highest cliff to leap and live like Pan, just once more.

Your eyes, so warm. Your hands- How often, how many days and nights dearest
Have they soothed and questioned and kept and hugged into caring?

Flower blossoms like your hair fall over grass like this, over your shoulders, this gently, this womanly.
I cannot forget, old as I am.
And you will be loved, old as I am.

Against the flat grey street,
A curved bent back, shivers, but still sits.
Bag clutched, Crow caws.
Another day is gone down to dusk, threaded with with lights and the dreams that the very young
Decide to throw away.