Poem: Proof


Middle of the day and the light is bright.
A bit harsh perhaps. Traffic is city heavy
and you can smell oil and diesel in the air.
Voices. There are lots of voices.
You can hear them over the horns
in half a dozen languages, few of them yours.
Something you are accustomed to,
a defect since childhood, speaking to spirits
no one sees. There are smells too. Grease
and spices and heat. Barkers on the sidewalk.
Food trucks. Someone is trying to sell you a purse.
He sees you for a moment,
and with a shake of your head
you become invisible. A familiar feeling,
no matter where you have lived,
your value tied too often to someone elses’
needs. It’s OK. Way of the world.
Way of the city. No time. Bustle. Hurry.
A corner. A signpost
and you do not recognize any of the roads.
No matter. They will all lead somewhere
interesting. Maybe dangerous. Maybe not.
But never boring. Somewhere to go
and capture memories and perhaps
a scar or souvenir. Proof
you were here.

About this poem.

A poet (me) in search of a poem over lunch this afternoon. Scanning pictures. Waiting for one to sing. Finding this one, a corner in New York City, and the city floods over me. Words come. Anyone who thinks poetry is mine is mistaken. I just write the stuff. There is a muse out there. Use any name you like for her/him, in the end, she has her way with me, even when I have no idea what to say, pulling out a dozen memories at once, and weaving them together. It’s not always pretty.


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