pretends to be yours. He shucks and jives.
If I wore pince-nez would I know why?
Women pass by my door. Chekhov follows.
One waits where she finds a stopping place.
He invites her to read his new story.
He rides off to do his job
of keeping life in the body. What soul
exists takes too long to find.
He works for little or nothing.
Life is too precious to be pecuniary.
In the story my Chekhov delivers
some people's lives. They question,
he wonders: What will happen to us?
She asks, Will we meet next year here,
will either of us return? Chekhov thinks
of the youth awaiting in empty rooms
transfusions of serf’s blood to freedom’s . . .
and laughs. He was once paid for laughter
but found his metier in "A Boring Story"
and the lady remembered for her dog.
Or those who pretend to be tender
to become their ideal, how they suffer:
There’s more to "The Duel" than a duel.
The madness in "Ward Six" is criminal.
Better to be nine years old, full of fear
on "The Steppe." The risks you must take.
You see the beauty dancing on her toes
and marry her, selfishly, a young man
but so old inside you bleed to love.
One death will make no difference.
(13, 21 April 2012)
copyright 2012 by Floyce Alexander