Saturday, May 06, 2006

another poem


My mother once gave me a compass, so
“I wouldn’t lose my direction”.
It burned in a car fire. Now a new
one, on my belt, needle pointing skyward.

Three key fobs rattle, the print worn away,
the bounce and click a tight marching cadence.
Medals from a war of attrition, still
ongoing; “One Day At A Time” they say.

A finger-sized flashlight shows me the way:
a tiny beacon against stubbed toes at
midnight, tacks, bugs, crumbs, shoes and loose wires.
My magic wand, warding off the unknown.

Further down, a tiny green pocketknife
dangles, home to miniature scissors,
nail file, toothpick, tweezers and tiny blade:
knife useless for all but the smallest task.

Solid-state circuitry hangs just below,
zeroes and ones sit silently waiting.
Thirty poems packed neatly in plastic
and silicon—the size of this stanza.

A pint-sized, felt-tipped, black sharpie marker
for poetic graffiti—scrawled haiku
left in serendipitous locations
bringing smiles to frowning passersby.

Unsurprisingly, there are keys here too—
Siblings in sharp-toothed brass, a patina
from age, like two old pennies: controlling
ingress and egress—the bolt clicks, thunks shut.

© jrs

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