Friday, January 30, 2009

*Poem: "Three Hours"*

Three Hours


Three hours behind me every day
and as I finally my eyes
droop before the DVD de jour,
your evening is just beginning,
supper dishes drying perhaps

if you are one of those that still does that,
or maybe the dishwasher has ceased
its recycled rumble, the sound
you’re unaware of until it stops

like the trains that pass my house
a couple blocks away, 11:04, 11:35,
and which is the wrong side
of the tracks from here?

Midnight, prime time on your coast,
sit-coms just starting in earnest.
If we had cable it would be time for Bill Beutel
to say goodnight to Roger Grimsby.
I leave the bedding of Mrs. Calabash
in your nostalgic hands.

My head tilts up on the pillow like a baby bird
hungry for any worms the night can provide,
trains huff through the backyard,
sirens for no one on the tracks.

If you were here, you’d hear the birds have
already begun their mindless chant
for sunrise, and at 4 a.m. I know
where the term, 'birdbrain' comes from.

We are three hours, three thousand miles,
several partners apart, and just as the sun
reaches the high point over the Catskills,
hides behind as many clouds as mountains,

you are ready for a second cup of coffee,
check your e-mails, watch those celebrated frogs
settle into midmorning callesthentics,
and I wonder what with all the tectonic shifts
in our friendship, how time will fly before us,

if our suns will come together, mountains part,
and we'll share a cup o' joe from the same pot.
I'd look in your eyes, colored the same
sarcastic tone as the rest of your sad bones,
eyes that have it where the rest of you is
overshadowed, shark-skinned and cautious,
chink in your herringbone armor.

Three hours, three thousand miles, a couple of
lives before, we meet again and again,
you my ambassador to the world of high standards,
red-striped ties and a sense of what
good can do in the lives of strangers
and other insidious creatures
on the left coast of life.

CAR 6/19/08

1 comment:

willow naeco said...

I like this poem, Cheryl. Thanks for sharing it. I'm so confused, living in Illinois -- my past is on the West Coast and my friends are on the East Coast. I keep thinking there are still three hours between me and my past...and three between me and my friends. Yeah, and I just celebrated my 7-year anniversary of moving to Chicago on New Year's Day. My cousin Britt should be calling *me* Bimba!