2019 – One – The Highwaymen

There are words creeping across the meadow,
here beside
the Queen’s Highway.
I can hear them out there
on their little legs,
all
As
and
Ms
and
Peg-leg P,
no doubt with
that infernal, pop-gun,
piratical pistol.
Please, pardon my alliteration.
They’re making their
plans,
I can hear them out there,
like tiny,
Hitchcockian
highwaymen,
and they’re going to
highjack
the precious hours
of
my day.

I’d like to go out.
I’d like to go sit in my car
in the rain
and watch the people
stroll by with their
gaudy umbrellas

Have you noticed that
nobody carries black umbrellas
anymore,
except for those cheap,
awful
little disposable
jimsons?
Everything is
peppermint stripes
or
sunflowers
now,
or starry nights.
I wonder if Van Gogh
owned an umbrella?

Or maybe if the rain would let up,
I could go to the park
and listen to the children
flying kites.

As much as I enjoy watching
the kites dart
and rip holes in the
afternoon,
I’d much rather listen
to the joy
of their flyers
because I know that feeling
that exultation.
I fly kites too.

But no.

I’ll sit here with my pen,
capturing those
spidery intruders
as they crawl across
the sunlit floor of my day.

I’ll capture them
pinning them to paper.
And I’ll be safe for a while,
from those words.
And I’ll feel a different
exultation,
one which will be doubly
ecstatic,
when I fold and paste
that rough, first-draft page
into a kite
and join the children,
tearing holes in the sky
of an afternoon.
I’ll have nothing to fear
from the words
that will be frightened enough
of me
that they’ll retreat and regroup
to assault me some other time,
on some other rainy day,
in the inky darkness
beside the Queen’s Highway.

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