Posted in Before the Rain

If Only

Before the iPod, was the Walkman.
And before that, music was out loud
heard, wanted or not.
Top 40 played endlessly
catchy or maddening – earworm yet to be invented.

Book end –
in my first week of university
Santana sang, “nobody told me about her.”
They didn’t.
Walking from her office,
eyes followed me, from hidden desks –
digging in deeper : shit happens.
Last days of high school,
on commercial radio
Rod Stewart sang about Georgie
happiness at last meeting.
– Book end

We crossed in the supermarket
by then, not in the same workplace.
And I knew –
told by a coincidental third party.
Intuition told her I knew. And hadn’t. It was easy.
We talked of the present
and the future – mine … “what do you think you might do now?”
But not the past,
we might stray ….. into that day.
We laughed, real laughter, not polite response.

I noticed things, never noticed –
she had tiny hands – they waved around,
a young child’s teeth – neon displayed constantly,
small round breasts – they pushed up and out with laughter and animation.
….. 15 – 20 minutes – several exits talked past ….
… then – “ well I guess
great catching up – all the best.”

Rod Stewart told of Georgie finding peace, happiness
and being in love –
congruent thoughts, as the cash register conferred ownership.
Yes, to all of the above. She had. And was.
A decade and a half later I heard,
heard about love up and leaving – abruptly.
Psychiatric hospital? “ Oh …. months! Well over a year.”

If Only is a sequel to Nobody Home, published March 15, 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.