Sunday, September 23, 2007

Sweep the Leg

Like jujitsu, he said; the belt colors
melt over me and are no help. Melt in my hand
At a game who plays not, for he cannot choose
From among the smoking gun. This trigger finger
Stands for life, and wiggles and wobbles,
East or west, north or south, we all fall down
A stranger who walks beside me. O no,
Boots to galoshes, what has it gots in its pocketses?
On the outskirts of some suburban carnival,
The candy cane you drop and never say is mine, yours!
Some day I'll claim to you how all used up
I am because of you but in the meantime the ride
Continues. Everyone is along for the ride,
It seems. Besides, what else is there?
The reindeer games? True, there are occasions
For red and white uniforms and a special list
Kept secret from the mothers. The lines
Are duly sliced. I know all this
But can't seem to keep it from affecting me,
Every day, all day. I've tried recreation,
Reading until late at night, video games
And chick-lit.
One day a man called while I was out
And left this message: "You got the whole thing wrong
From start to finish. Luckily, there's still time
To correct the situation, but you must act fast.
See me at your earliest convenience. And please
Tell no one of this. Much besides your life depends on it."
I thought nothing of it at the time. Lately
I´ve been looking at old-fashioned plaids, fingering
Starched white collars, wondering whether there’s a way
To get them really white again. My parents
Think I’m in London, London, France, that is.

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