Today is a day
          For sitting quietly, pensively
          Before the window,
          Misty gray clouds
          Hanging low outside
          And the bare arms of the trees
          Moist and dripping.
          You relax in your favorite chair,
          Settle back, turn on the stereo--
          Perhaps smoke a pipe or two
          And watch each happy curl of smoke
          Go swirling merrily up, up and away,
          A blue-grey dream.
          It grows darker.
          You think--
          Thoughts of love and life,
          Laughter that has been and is yet to come.
          Pain, sharp and biting, or
          The deep, restless ache of loneliness
          And mocking uncertainty.
          Someone comes knocking,
          Collecting for charity:  but no change
          For a ten.
          The music settles down again;
          Pipe relit, thoughts once more flowing.
          Gardens, sunshine, girls who once
          Were dear; frisking dogs
          And the clink of silver coins.
          Life.
          How strange it all seems now,
          Yet so ordinary too.
          "...long after Saturday's gone..."
          Sings the stereo; it sings and
          Cannot feel, yet I feel so much
          And cannot sing.  Pain.
          Love's labor lost--a wounded woman,
          Who will recover, to be sure,
          But why did you hurt her?
          For another...
          Who was not the other.
          My life, like the dripping trees,
          Is obscured by mist and fog;
          Then, magically one day, it retreats,
          Leaving all the world bright, fresh and new
          And her in my arms for a day or two
          Before once more descending, gray and damp.
          Pipe's gone out, thoughts vanished.
          But the fog and I remain,
          One and the same.

1/30/71


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