Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Impossible

You wake knowing nothing is impossible
but finding the easy way to say what he wants
and knowing there’s no way, what you want
is the impossible.

The ward comes alive and he goes to sleep.
Lovely comes in and stays until she leaves.
He sleeps again and wakes for lunch.
Bonnington comes in.

There is nothing he can do more valuable
than leave here and if need be, go to prison
to get the story Danny’s killer has to share
before he dies.

That’s enough of this for today, he mutters
under his breath. He is ready for dinner.
The Chinese lady sits across from him

He learns her name after promising to keep
quiet about her. She says, I want to be friends.
You were here when I came through the door.
I’m still here,

she replies. I may be getting out soon, he says.
I am happy for you. When will you leave?
I have been here so long I weep in my sleep.
All night long,

it seems. He tries to cheer her. She smiles
through his impossible effort. She smiles
leaving the table, grasping the hand he holds
out to her.

Bonnington says he has a meeting scheduled
upstairs with Dr. Ripley and his associates.
Robert L. Ripley runs the place, they help
him decide.

He recalls as a child reading "Believe It or Not"
by Robert Ripley in the Sunday papers.
He read it while waiting for his father
to get done

talking and before they went to the place
where he lived, where his father slept.
He laughs inside to remark such curious

Back in the room he starts inventing again.
Not that the few facts are not true. No,
it’s what they mean he must discover in

If only the wild city were still alive. A child
can love what he can’t understand. A child
must love the world he is given to inhabit
until now,

when, if his luck is good, he has learned
to live in rhythm with the song of day
and night, follow the beat and variations
to find

melody. She’s coming to Paul and Anna’s
tonight. Melindra will be delighted to hear
his news. He may even play his clarinet
for her.

(21 February 2012)

copyright 2012 by Floyce Alexander

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