Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Old poem I found on my external hard drive

I'm trying to organize everything in preparation for a big move. I stumbled across this poem I wrote in November of 2007. (Final revised text: 10/22/2007, 1:44 a.m.)


Children's Wear

I don't remember clearly, but my mother says
she wrapped my tiny body, low in termperature,
in my soon-to-be favorite, tight-knit blanket,
a bright red and blue affair, a Superman's cape

two years later for an energetic boy fighting crime
with his dogs and hamsters, who alternated between the roles
of trusty sidekicks and maniacal arch villians
bent on total destruction.

My mother doesn't know where that blanket
has gotten off to — perhaps it was a prisoner
of childhood wars, stuffed into a forgotten crevice
by a forgetful sibling after a battle of freeze tag

or hide and seek or monkey in the middle,
and overlooked by a family focused on leaving
the cold behind to set up a new home
in a rented house down south.

A painting by my balding father helps me
to remember next a woolen cap pulled down past my ears:
I'm treading through the soft snow, cheeks ablaze,
my sled floating magically behind me while my cap

devours my smooth skull. My mother says that portrait
reminds her of my grandfather in the winter,
whose bald head could not afford to lose
what loving warmth he had left to spend in his old age.

I wore that cap until it was beyond repair, the crown
of my head weathering a hole into its thinning fibers
like a group of unrelenting gases pushing through
a single spot in the Earth's atmosphere.

[Edit: And here's an earlier incarnation of this one:
Forgot I had posted it.]

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