Quarters in the Wishing Well, 2010

The things I’ve heard,
the things I’ve seen,
a mocking bird, a golden ring.
The things I’ve smelled,
the things I’ve held,
all quarters in the wishing well.

Snow angels in the muddy snow,
a flickering blue lantern glow
through which the figures come and go
and leave in the snow their vague halos
a dime story prayer book and hope
that it means more than horse and wagon
much more than neutron beams and pageants

I’ve seen people come and go,
some people young, some people old
the summer heat, the winter cold
a mistress with no one to hold
except a painting of a lying clown
whom she stands by her head around,
his crooked nose the mirror cracks
the mask that once was has come off
and shortly was the mistress gone.

No umbrella, dripping wet,
walked a coughing silhouette
a crying child, a bassinette
abandoned in the night-time wept
left on a doorstep in the rain
only the memory remains

On the file, the photographs,
where imagination, graphed,
meets the memory and weeps
and lies on file when User sleeps.
I saw the storm when it went by,
the lightning dancing in the sky
with my neck turned crooked my eye
to see a flock of sparrows fly.

I’ve seen the cradle, and the grave
and all things in between
wind-up toys, birds on a string,
pull it and the bird is heard,
if only on a page with words

My monument, my silhouette,
a man alone with cigarettes
pen and paper, room unkempt
the ashtray overflows, exempt
flaked out like ashes as though
fragments from a static snow.

One man and fedora, spark
a cigarette glowing in the dark
the ghosts in satin sheets, they creep,
and constant mourn as willow’s weep

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