Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Still tinkering with this one (what else is new?) but here goes...

THE 1970s
for Sivan

My eldest daughter,
having forsaken the shovel, pail
and sandbox some years ago,
has entered the age when one skin is shed
but the other’s yet to grow in.
In our household
everything old is new again,
the 1970s have come back
in the guise of Dark Side of the Moon,
Crime of the Century
and a rock-opera by the Who;
It was the decade
when the over-sized self-consciousness
that had been growing bigger
and speeding toward me
like a Road-Runner cartoon boulder
finally caught up, rolled me flat

and overtook me.
I’d tried slipping out of sight
in puffs of dope-smoke
but that didn’t work,
and neither did telling myself
“You’re a genius” or
“This time the plan’s foolproof.”
In no time I discovered
that the laws of physics
aren’t what they’re cracked up to be,
that earthquakes can start as little pills
(if you miss the bottle’s fine print)
and there’s precious little to depend on
except falling in love
with the chase itself

and that once set in motion
things long forgotten will roll up from behind
and when you least expect it
(you will always ignore the approaching rumble)
squash you in your tracks,
leave you wheezing, your body

like a worn-out accordion,
and still, by some miracle,
you will be able to walk away.

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