Posted in Before the Rain

Face Value

It was the question of a child.
“Why is Angie’s Job being extended
and mine terminated – there must be a link?”
“No.” And he is disappointed in me
didn’t think I was “like this …so … so … small minded.”
The door was closed
the discussion did not remain behind it
at morning break : silent hostility – sore loser.

A palace guard forms around Angie,
she becomes someone I seldom see and can’t get near –
never alone –
never unaccompanied
a person only at distance,
as if guardians fear a stalking tongue, or worse.

Before leaving I must I return books and periodicals
the library is a former dwelling
a wall has been removed
two rooms where there were once three
forming an L
around which I am not visible
she comes in.

“….Hhhhhhhh hi”
ringlet hair
looks electrified
silence pours slowly – treacle on a cold morning
“I feel like I took your job.”
I was angry – angry beyond belief
but sexual pride still rises
an attractive woman
pert and shapely
girlish and womanly – innocent and knowing
“I wouldn’t worry about it.”

She would be over 50 now
I wonder if she still has her most valuable asset or,
has time faded her to a single look.



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.