Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Dimetrodon

January 13, 2010

The howl of wind (or wolf?) destroyed my peaceful dream’s delight

My hazy brain was soon engaged; was something here not right?

My soles complained “to bed again” when they hit the hardwood floor

But I marched them to the window for a peek into the night.

A little boy stood, shivering, on the step outside my door

And I felt sure that I had seen this kid somewhere before.

My clumsy hands unhooked the chain; I ushered him inside.

His nose was running like a tap; his shoelace was untied.

“What are you doing out so late and why have you come here?”

I shouted at his little face “Where’s your house? You need a ride?”

That little boy just stared in disbelief, and shed a tear

And clutched his little dinosaur, a museum souvenir.

“Dimetrodon,” I softly said, to try to calm him down

“I had one too when I was growing up in Allentown.”

I made him some hot chocolate with a mountain of whipped cream

But he just took it silently, maintained his stubborn frown.

He raised it to his lips, his face distorted by the steam

And in that shocking instant I was powerless to scream.

“Impossible!” I thought, though as he drank I, too, felt warm

But what unearthly action had he come here to perform?

At last I heard him whisper “Bye and thank you for the drink,”

set down the mug and turn to go back out into the storm.

“No, wait!” I cried, and held him back behind that spectral brink

Obligingly he paused and gave me time enough to think.

Would it be wise to chart for him the next leg of the race?

To warn the boy about the many perils he will face?

Avoid that girl – she’ll break your heart, I wanted to exclaim

and many more reminders I’d been longing to erase.

Don’t take that first enticing smoke, put down the loathsome flame!

Don’t stake your Christmas bonus on the 49ers game!

Do well in school and care enough to study for the tests!

Ignore that sharp recruiter with the ribbons on his chest!

Be friends with Shawn so maybe he decides to stay alive!

A thousand other things that I could helpfully suggest.

But what would come from such advice?  Not what I may contrive.

Besides, this boy could not absorb it – he was no more than five!

My life, I thought, is not too bad; I carry no regrets.

The scars I’ve gotten on this trip have now become vignettes.

I gave my self a hug and shook my little hand goodbye.

The world lay still and dark, it was as black as darkness gets

So I could hardly see the boy fade out into the skies.

I turned around and saw his toy, and left it where it lies.

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