Now the scene changes, we say, and the next few years
are quiet. Itís another curse, the inverse of the ďinteresting timesĒ
the Chinese were said to go on so about. Nevertheless, there it is,
as the emptiness needs a something in order to be defined as empty,
which means we spend the next few years talking about other years,
as if thatís whatís important. Maybe that is whatís important. It was terrible,
the hospital stay. The children. Not the children in the abstract way,
but those times worried that this would go wrong, or that, and then things
do go wrong and it almost feels like weíd wished for it to happen,
so not only do we have to go through this terrible time, but we also
have to keep reminding ourselves that we didnít wish for it. Itís Problem
One. And thereís our two-year-old son strapped to a board with an IV, crying.
And doesnít it feel like a formal device then? As if expecting it
were the sameóor is the sameóas willing it, but then almost willing it anyway,
saying something like, ďPlease God, or whomever, get it over with already . . .Ē
if the world isnít going to be a museum only, as museums keep calling out
that thereís so much more to find in the past, like ourselves, for instance.
The simplification of our forms. The question of why it might be important
to save our dinnerware, or Yo-yos. We have these accidents
in common: last night I was pulling a filing cabinet upstairs on a hand truck,
and at the 90 degree turn it fell on top of me and I had to hold it like that,
one wheel on the stair, one in mid-air. So I had some time on my hands,
waiting for Robin to get home. They say that if you relax, lying there
is 80% as restful as sleep. And knowing how to relax is key, they say.
Hereís a guess: we will sit on a wooden lawn-chair in the sun, and we
will like it. We will run the numbers and think it sounds like a good
proposition. We will consult a map, even ask directions. The sunís
out right now, in fact, and itís all a matter of doing the next big thing.
Driving home, say. And then itís a manner of having done something.
Driving past the car wash. Yes, forcing a matter of doing the next
thing, which is filling out the accident report, while the old man
who hit my pickup is crying in the street. And then Iím walking around,
picking up the fender and light pieces and putting them in the bed.
|Copyright © 2013 by John Gallaher. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on November 18, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.|