Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Spot

As a child, in times of transition,

moving in, away, or up a class,

I’d choose a spot of no distinction,

eaves elbow or dirty pane of glass,

seen daily, in passing, from bus or car,

and call that spot up to memory,

my own version of a wishing star,

proof not everything is temporary.

Solemnly naming the spot my own,

commanding it, above all worthier

bits of the universe, to stand alone,

I’d whisper, If I do not remember

this spot the next time I go this way,

even if I remember some other time,

all that I have seen and done today,

and this spot, will no longer be mine.

So many years later, I still attempt

to make of humble, unnoticed things

what they do not seem, to exempt

the passing car or the cardinal’s wings

from the stopwatch’s oblivious tick.

But now the simile and the metaphor

so complicate things that when I pick

a spot that should mean no more

than what it is, like a broken sidewalk

or tree stump—you see what I mean—

the thing comes alive, begins to talk,

turns to words on a computer screen.

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