Thursday, February 01, 2007

left behind

leaves gathered by weaverbirds,
muddled into a nest
then stolen and worked into an autumn wreath
to entertain the parents
on a miscellaneous sunday afternoon

there's surely a message to be found
in this spare history
and can be read in the mundane monument
to a working bird's day
all played out on 17th street

and if your ribs are now constricted
by the sudden inhale of indignation
and if you see before your troubled eyes
a home wrenched by callow urbanites
for a minor display of vanity

you may exhale, but carefully
for i can offer some small consolation
it was a home long discarded
for weaverbirds are upwardly mobile
and had taken flight to a suburban elm

and i ramble roundly, moving with a fine malaise
ever as a child i hid in wary caution
never your golden hero
waiting behind closed eyes
for the dark to bring its tricks

i paint my garden walls every summer
for i no longer move into the world beyond
it's gone into a mystery for me
closed and alien and dense
so i make my walls thick and tireless

but we can sit and rock
speculate on the mailman's route
the fine stories he could relate
if we could capture his devotion
and offer him a chair

brew a china tea, left on christmas day
gifted in a porcelain container
painted by a master
somewhere far away
in brittle cups from old cathay

you say i've been wearied by the days
sitting among my ruminations
foraging among our grand concoctions
so you bring me donuts filled with jellies
and drink my whiskeys

and confounded as we are
one breath still follows another
we've traded mozart for aretha
schubert for synthetic strings
left behind on 17th street

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