Maybe it’s the weather,
or the throbbing of the spine –
of rupturing disks, with stairs to climb
the stupid hobbling, bent and twisting…

The mirror’s face,
cracked and drying, grey…
once bright blue eyes fading,
a gunslinger’s fate.

Maybe it’s the failures,
the second-thoughts,
Prufrockian dissembling –
time spent watching clock hands ticking, better spent
shuttering dreams
and focusing on investing, planning
preparing for the end…

Maybe it’s
the abandoned connections,
mishandled friendships –
the cancellations
and flutterings of heart and mind,

…. a bitter, older Hamlet, on display

Maybe… it’s just this season of dread.
The slate sky, the long freezing.
The holiday concerts and year ends,
The hollow men and their songs of joy,
on street corners of
this city, seen through a filter
of rain, snow…
the rhythmic wail of ambulances
echoing up the canyon walls to office workers,
music from below

Maybe it’s the bum on the corner,
we pass every morning
(head down, no change
we only carry plastic now)
his plea for coin drowned
by the Salvation Army’s bells

In the city, at least, it’s sometimes clear
who to blame… the image
fluttering side by side with our stride,
glass sheathed towers a wall of fun house mirrors,
that face who’s really celebrated
in the songs and hymns
of this long season of dread.


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