Birthday poem, for Guy. Joan Fleming.

In Joan Fleming, poetry on July 20, 2011 at 5:30 am


Before you left you shaved,
and your cheeks were rough.
Your beard will be
softer. Things
are getting better.
The cat comes in
and circles the room,
but you are not here.
You are in the mountains
with your mother
trying to cross a stream
in her white car.
But there is too much rain,
or too much rain
in the past. It’s okay,
though. You drink
thermos tea instead,
walk a while together.
I ride the bus
and think about what
we pay attention to,
and how it changes,
makes things glow.
I think about your jaw.
I think about your best
wool pants. They are dark grey,
the colour of a stone
under water.
I don’t know what
to give you today.
I want to be better.
Softer. Things
are getting there,
and I am trying my best
to pay attention.
You are looking out
your mother’s window.
You are weeding her garden.
You are driving her car
to the edge of the ford.
She sees the kind of man
you are, that you will get out
of the car and stand,
with patience,
beside the stream,
before walking in
to see for yourself
just how deep it is,
and how fast.


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