POEMS/ Waiting Again at the Dirt Cowboy
Waiting Again at the Dirt Cowboy
I am sitting here in the local coffee shop
waiting for a friend. The coffee machines
roar on command, drowning out all
attempts at conversation. I, of course,
am not making an attempt to talk
above the din, because my friend is late
again. I wonder why I am so obsessive
about being on time. In my high school
days, gone now for fifty years and more
I had a friend who was always half an hour
late. You could set your clock by her.
But I was always there waiting
at the appointed hour, could not refrain
from punctuality. Now here I am, a half
a century later, still the one on time,
still waiting. I watch the clock, order
another cappuccino, and scribble
a few more lines of a poem in progress
in my notebook. The poem is as late
in arriving, as my absent friend. Maybe
my karma today just isn’t in balance,
more yin than yang, perhaps. At any rate
the poem is stalled at the third stanza.
I think it needs some sex, or perhaps,
a bit of anger, but neither works
for me. I mean as a topic.
I’ve written sad poems,
none I hope, too sentimental. But joy
is the topic I like to explore and experience.
I’d like to be remembered for the things
I’ve loved: laughter in my house,
good food and wine on my table,
my family and my friends, including
the one who, at a full hour late,
has, I must agree, stood me up once again.
From All Roads Go Where They Will (Antrim House, 2010)