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Such were evenings of the type too often marked as sultry,
But sometimes such descriptions are apt
And thus denoted as so;
We would be well into the bottles and cans
To such point as we were not wearing them particularly well,
And so we spoke of things
Which may or may not have mattered,
The relative merits of cinema femme fatales
Dead four, perhaps five decades,
The notion of such women who had it,
(Followed by the de rigeur toasts to Chrissy Hynde,
And long may she wail)
Various things which disappeared with the fog and dew
Once sunrise made its unhappy presence known,
And when the old boiler suggested that sleep and abstinence
Constituted the prudent route to follow,
I excused myself for a walk,
(Nodding to my brother-in-law as he nodded,
Possibly but not invariably still awake)
Undertaken in various shambling states of unsteadiness
Back to my mother-in-law's house
Muttering silent regrets for the lack of bread crumbs
Mixed with somewhat less than sotto voce snippets
Of songs sung earlier with considerable gusto
And nearly adequate fidelity to sharps and flats,
And if I had maintained a relative judiciousness in my intake
(The alternative an unpleasant return to my domicile pro tem,
Usually marked with an entrance featuring mud and mayhem,
More or less forgiven the next morning)
I would, if the evening was clear and still,
Speculate upon the nature of the starlight,
Be it the distress calls of celestial bodies dark and listless
Or something in its salad days, so to speak,
And often it would strike me as somewhat less than fitting
That not a single glass had been raised to their health.
Wk kortas Jul 22
There is no question of her cycling up the hill;
She has no upscale concoction
Of carbon-fiber frame and painstakingly engineered gear-ratios.
Her bike is a single-speed Schwinn
Of as uncertain vintage
As the woman herself,
And she walks it,
An occasional spoke missing,
The paint chipped here and there,
Up where she once climbed
In a ’54 Chrysler convertible
Next to the man
She later visited at the TB sanitorium
Which once sat at the top of the street,
Two sons giggling and bickering
In the back seat
(The boys long since gone,
Having fled the snow and the downsizing
For other climes)
But now she peddles her bike
Around Massey and State Streets for a bit
Before she coasts back downhill,
And sometimes drivers glare
At her (she is, to be fair
Something of an impediment to traffic)
And carfuls of kids or soldiers in convoys
Headed up to Fort Drum
Will heckle her--Hey, lady!
The Tour De France was last month
She no longer has any interest in
The stares or commentary;
She is focused on the bottom of the hill.
Feb 28 · 113
the forgiven
Wk kortas Feb 28
He had not, the general consensus decreed,
Held up his end of the bargain;
Custom dictated that, once one had received
If not full absolution, a degree of dispensation
It was incumbent on the recipient
To acknowledge of the communal munificence,
Preferably with a suitably hang-dog expression,
And then move on with one’s life
In a sufficiently distant locale.
The gentleman in question had begged to differ
And stayed on, not simply long enough
To say the odd quick goodbye, to tie up loose ends,
But for the long haul, as he was born and bred in these parts,
Man and countryside one and the same,
Inextricable from one another, in his view,
And so he carried on about his business
As would befit a full citizen of the borough,
Occasionally stopping to pass the time of day
With the small circle of family and friends
Who had not found his particular peccadillo
As grounds for a de facto shunning
(Indeed, the wheres and whyfores of his particular transgression
Long past being generally agreed upon)
Continuing to shop, work, and even attend mass at St. Marinus
(Where he invariably had a pew to himself)
Where local legend had it that the statue of Jesus had once wept,
Though one former parish priest had noted
How the effigy was strangely and unnervingly impassive
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