Saturday, May 17, 2008

A Not-Quite There Poem

I've been going through old writing today and picking up threads of stories that I had always meant to finish. Just typed an email to a friend saying that now that I've finished one book I honestly think that I'll be able to finish another and another. But perhaps the sunshine and free time are making me a bit euphoric. Here's an old poem that I've been rewriting this afternoon.

Churchill

He pulls me away, with
a voice that equals your own,
strips you clean,
and leaves me knowing
incomparable middle class suffering.

Stands there with a strength
that comes from foreign places,
with names I can’t countdown,
places in the mine, places
where I have not yet spent time.

The next one had a reedy voice,
shiny shoes, short tie, lively banjo.
I couldn’t get that song out
of my head, enduring
train ride, a long walk, a whistle.

The fitness in his hands,
cracked, scared, calloused,
that when they touched me,
bear me to run away, a place
by the river, sweater that wasn’t mine.

2 comments:

John Mutford said...

I really like this. Is "a place by the river" a throwback to Cohen's "Suzanne"?

ragdoll said...

Thanks for the kind words, John. Actually, the whole poem kind of writes back to Greg MacPherson's "Churchill." But I do like the pickup re: Leonard Cohen too. Goodness, I heart "Suzanne."