Oddments

In search of story


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February 7.21: Coping

The bench wants society.

Stop! it says. Sit! —

watch your species ignoring you and me!

They rush by but we are the busy ones,

busy stopping.

Soon another will come, stop, sit,

and society will happen.

Maybe a toddler, ooph-ing his way up,

will sit like an L,

revel in his new perspective,

then scramble away,

pollinator to his kind.

Then soon another, on the three legs of late life,

will ease down, lean back,

and toss some memories to you, hungry pigeon.

Maybe next a new parent,

jealously, wonderingly

hoarding that immense softness,

rocking slightly,

sparing a few hushed words.

By and by, maybe two, holding hands, cozy in,

nudging you to other times, other benches

where you stopped,

and you can’t help a small private smile.

Maybe someone who talks a waterfall

crashing down on you in atomic white foam,

like some relatives you’ve run from.

Then even the bench cringes but holds fast

for the sake of the human soul.

Ignore a bench at your peril:

society must be had.

 

 

I can’t help noting, dear reader, that I picture people aware of each other

whereas the reality is people are snookered into their phones

and have no idea you are on the bench with them.

I prefer my version.

 

More thanks to photographer S.W. Berg,

and to Wells Theater, Norfolk, VA.

 


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March 13.19

If all the world’s a stage

give mine the glint of gold

scarlet plush and curtains

in towering thespian fold.

Give me a kindly audience

who patiently endure

through epilogue’s last echo

from brassy overture.

Give me jeweled soliloquy

sparkling in its wit

not too long but long enough

for annals of World Lit.

Give me blue-white spotlight

commanding and intense

before that sky-high curtain

begins its last descent.

After final curtain

when there isn’t any more

may there be one ovation

which resounds with loud “Encore!”

 

 

I never know where Bill’s photos — or any photos, for that matter — will lead me. This one brought back one of my favorite memories of my father, a brilliant man who developed dementia. Before the dementia claimed him, he wrote his own obituary and declared to me that he wanted people to read it and say, “Let’s bring this guy back!” I laughed, but I felt his longing not to be forgotten. How human.

 

 

Many thanks to photographer S.W. Berg.