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.