John Grey: two poems
In wet, miserable March, wind whisks paper to
my door, from shopping lists to letters
to signs announcing Flea Markets.
I must confess when it comes to what blows
into my realm, only money and words attract me.
I've been drawn to a half rain-soaked
school girl essay and a note once
pinned to a door that read, "Back
in five minutes. Make sure the cat
doesn't escape." As much as I've written
in my life, I've never once put
down those words in that particular order.
Nor have I been somewhere for just five
minutes and felt the world ought to know about it.
1 don't have a cat. I've never had a cat.
I'm allergic to those hairy haughty felines
but the word "cat" doesn't make me break out.
"Ellen, park on the side street" didn't do much
for me but a note announcing the next
meeting of the Neighborhood Betterment Society
intrigued me no end. For a start, the date was
in the past. More evidence that while
meetings come and go, words
are timeless. And second, 1 wasn't invited.
Thus we come to the hidden agenda of words.
In that plain simple proclamation is the inference
that I have nothing to contribute to the betterment
of the neighborhood. A sly look wouldn't
tell me that. Nor would a whisper. Of course,
the meeting notice may have been pinned
and then blown free from my screen door and has spent
the last two weeks or so blowing its way
around the block and back again to where
it started. That's another thing with words.
There's always more than one possible truth
to them. And that meeting, and my absence
from it, still haunts. And, had I gone, I'd probably have
been bored stiff. Words can heighten expectations
that will never be met. That's beyond the combined
abilities of a bunch of regular people getting together
and complaining about the noise at 127. By the
way, today's treasure was the envelope from a missive
sent to my new neighbor from the American Cheese Society,
I've yet to shake hands with the man. But apparently we just met.
The maple tree imagines itself
as Miss Scarlet from Clue.
She'll be done in by
coming winter in the forest
with the wind and drop in temperature.
But by then she won't
be Miss Scarlet at all.
It'll be Colonel Mustard
fluttering in November winds.
Or Professor Plum,
a rush of deeper color
And by December,
Miss Scarlet, the Colonel, the Professor,
will be long forgotten.
There'll be nothing but frosty, shivering,
skeletal Mrs. White.
I think I know the answer.
It was Reverend Green
in the world
with the seasons.
Published in WINK: Writers in the Know, issue 1