Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Twenty-first Century

The old man can’t see like he could,
why go to the movies?
He can hardly stay awake watching DVDs,
he totters and he nods
and slumps head first.
He wants to keep his mind awake, not lost.

She doesn’t want to sit in a dark theatre
waiting for vigilantes,
that guy, this one, the one over there,
she sizes each one up and worries
she can’t keep them both alive.
They are each what they mean by love.

He’s not an old man in his passions.
They are too active perhaps.
He should be doddering when he walks
instead of waiting out the cold for the sun,
careful to keep his surgical leg
from transformation into a peg leg.

He should have been a pirate
or at the very least a trail blazer.
One leg or both? That’s like a lover
asking too much. Too late
to seize ships or lead expeditions,
he’s happy when he’s not in pain.

The mother asked her baby boy’s
casket be open, half his head shot away,
riddled by round after round, a spray
of bullets in first and second grades,
where once the war was in the world,
and even a child’s joy was bold. 

(16 January 2013)

copyright 2013 by Floyce Alexander

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