Wednesday, December 17, 2008

These Days And More

Sitting cross-legged on the floor of a narrow, square room reading Henry James out loud,
Occasionally shifting to my knees when I get too uncomfortable,
And then switching back to Indian style when I start to lose feeling in my feet.

Again sitting on the floor, this time of the Borders behind Penn Station,
Safe and snug in the set-back corner of the children's section.
Two of us there, each with a hot mint chocolate drink in one hand,
And an iced one in the other: a welcome mistake.

Sitting once more on a park bench,
Firecracker ices in hand--
The red dripping down the white until we get to the Patriotic bottom
Which gives us Smurf lips
And we stick out our blue tongues at each other like a secret handshake,
A family crescent, a clubhouse password.

Lost in the snow, the wheels of the car sliding slowly over transparent ice,
Then we sneak around the hoity-toity lodge
Pretending, for a few moments, we belong there, too.
Then chased by an overeager, over-hungry squirrel,
The iced wind biting at our faces and pinching our cheeks red.

Ice skating, ice skating, ice skating.
Alone, and then with you, and then alone, and then with you,
Around and around and around.
The rink a ring of people--
Pass by the same ones, yet each time you're different, they're different.
Change without change.
Watch out for the jocks who try to cut you off. They'll trip themselves one day, doing that.
They'll never trip me, though.
Here is one place I never fall.

Warm in there, on the couch, on the rocking chair, tired but don't want to sleep.
Awake, awake, stay awake.
Blink my eyes open - when did they close?
Open, yes, they're open.
And I'm wide awake now - but how?
Was I talking?
Whose line is it anyway?

Those glass elevators go up, up, up
I like to look down and see everything get smaller and smaller.
Dizzying -but a thrill because I can make myself look and still want to continue going up.
Let's ride again!
Up and back down, then back up--
Let's stay up, can't we?

Words on the screen tell us to sing.
There are people. People!
They might hear us!
Do we even know the songs?
We laugh and sing and sing and laugh.
I am not me, you are not you, we are not we--
We just are.
Having the time of our lives.

These days and more. These days and more.
These days--
And more.

P.S. The Squeaker - the inspiring tale of a boy and his sneaker.