My daily exorcism
is writing the forget-me-nots
in the margins of the New York Times.

A pliant testimony
built on crying children
and their screaming mothers
("this is how you act / stop crying!"),
these are the words deep within a life
absent of words meaning anything,
the drone of a tenor saxophone
with a broken reed
or a plea for help
or a blaring boom box
replacing any thought,
any action,
any move,
any forward tactic,
any resolve
that predicates substance.

I would drag my knuckles
three fingers deep into the earth now
if only to know that I am alive
and created something,
if only a trench,
if only a sly, modest burial ground
for hamsters and abandoned childhoods.

I saw a picture of a young boy today -- 
maybe three or four years old --
on his way to the first day of school,
his education formally begun
as the starch of his shirtsleeves
cut through the crisp campaign
for a cool autumn.

Life goes on.

And here I sit,
scrawling little symbols into sidelines of permanence,
my only way of coping
with the bleak headlines of today,
full of the same child-like curiosity,
an ear pressed to the door of tomorrow,
an eye looking back
to where I can no longer go.



Copyright © 2015 John Grimmett. All rights reserved.

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