Posted in Before the Rain

Fine Print

Mea culpa …. I didn’t ask,
didn’t think to ask,
didn’t even think about, thinking about asking.

The refractometer was heavy in my hand
precise … and one touch responsive –
the doors of a fine automobile, or expensive dwelling.

Recording sugar levels of just orphaned fruit –
a real task,
with a real instrument.
So unlike the tired practicals
and toy devices of university.

“ Any chance ……”
new, eager to belong – “sure.”

The first time : a head nodded at the sign.
After use equipment must be cleaned
returned to from where it was collected.
I did. And did.

Next time.
“No”– coiled and waiting –
a cat for a bird, a dog for the mail man.
The lab technician said it had been returned late –
said I hadn’t returned it when I said I would.
I had …. but had on loaned it to someone …. from the other side.

Fine Print is a sequel to Declare – posted Feb 6, 2017



Most of my life has been spent on the bench, occasionally called into the game by extravagance or attenuation. Waiting has turned a loner into a recorder - nondescript and inconsequential, more not noticed than overlooked - the non-vantage point of children not yet considered old enough to understand. Orphaned Islands (Un)poetry is a lifetime of picking anecdotes up and not throwing them away. Stories collected like odds and ends placed in a box in the basement, the garage, the garden shed - uncertain as to what their use might be but knowing that one day there might be one.