Poem day before my 56th birthday

Poem day before my 56th birthday

 

The perfect poem is out of sight, around the bend,
Part optic fibre cables being laid underground,
Part cherry blossoms staggeringly impermanent,
Outrageous as Stravinsky music in the air,
 
Part finely shattered, gold-re-joined, Satsuma vase,
Part so-brazenly broken national laws,
Part of the world as it moves around other worlds,
Part so personal it embarrasses even itself,
 
Part cruelly stern as a witchfinder general,
Part wonderfully iconoclastic as a witch’s brew,
Part cat sleeping, part cat leaping, part paw,
Part mouse that got away; part all the pain
 
We ever knew, and then some, and then some more;
The treasure under the floorboards under the stairs,
Is being written for someone else’s birthday,
By someone else; won’t ever be written, to be true,
 
Because perfection is the enemy of any friend
To what is troubling to imagine, harder to rephrase.
That won’t stop me from summoning this one up,
Stolen from the mystery shelf where language lies.
 
In my poem I’d need a bit of Canada, but not just snow,
Some parental turmoil and all that sorrow, saved
Somehow by compassion; sex of younger days, reviewed
By religion, marriage and sickness, the bumbling through.
 
Camaraderie bordering on true love, travel to odd climes;
The flats in Budapest, Paris and London, over-booked,
Overlooking trees; streets with prams not ever ours;
The hours, the hours, of forgiving and consoling powers.
 
 
APRIL 7, 2022

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