Saturday, September 19, 2009

When No-one's Watching

For Sheryl

I flipped this thing
With nothing, really to hold it together
Leftover rice and beans
A slippery teflon pan
Eggs broken in the middle.

Returning from the transfer station
Having to cart my recyclables back again
Because I had the wrong day
In the month's cycle.

Not pausing to return calls about dinner dates
Waving invisibly to my neighbor in his bathrobe who
At his front door remarks my presence just like a farmer lifting his finger
Ever so slightly from his wheel.

Or is he mad at me for bringing up our differences
To his son way up in Alaska
Who'd told me that his father
Is uncharacteristically
Fond of me?

We are on opposite sides of various divides
About God,
Global warming,
All that liberal and conservative stuff.

I intend to travel to the big city
To help with a friend's kit car
Who's invited me to dinner
In conflict with Subersive Theatre
In conflict with another dinner invitation.

And I learn that there's the first annual Fiddlers' Festival
Right up the road
A piece.

And I wonder where is me?
What will I do?

Caught in my own headlights, dear?

My daughter now texts her congratulations
From the Big Big Big Big City
That I've sold my country house
Which finally she would not inhabit.

How shall I tell her
About my de-cocooning?
That I do not intend another shell.

She is so excited for me!

How shall I tell her that all the while that I was pretending to be Dad
I was living deep inside a shell I thought I wanted
A shell I thought I needed
A shell I now would shed.

Without, come to think of it, any woodshed
Although I've lit my lasting hearth, again
Against fall chill.

And in the flipping
Which somehow held together
There was only me
And a good deal
Of nerve.

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