Today I walk through autumn leaves
Holding the five year girl child’s hand
Who, without warning, stops and thrusts
Questions at me I once asked
Questions that were satisfied
By maiden aunts and Sunday saints
Whose answers that I soon forgot
They still believe and can recall.
Questions that were asked again
When thoughts ran like young stallions run
Over hurdles that can’t be crossed
And spring back strong like new bent bows
Eager to feel the morning wind
Smooth and stroke their strong hot sides
As they rip holes with their hard hoofs
Into the soft turf of the mind.
But scholars pull the English grass
That plugs the cracks in Roman roads
Pompeii’s relics are admired
By cuff linked men who softly ask
Why such a culture had to fall
Beaks and claws of mocking birds
Can pluck the eyes from a dead king
And so pubescent moderns scorn
Ancestral portraits in the hall
For what good can the dead past bring.
Questions that will still invade
Twilight thoughts before sleep draws
Unconscious mind to other things
Where logic seldom pushes hard
Whisper softer every year
And tinny answers echo down
The catacombs where childhood lies
So soft the sound had grown by now
It might have vanished in a while
But now it screams at me again
In the smiling questions of a child.
Whatever I might tell her now
Will never do when snow is cold
And summer seems too hot to run
When girl skin sags and breasts break down
As years forget the nipple’s thrust
And flesh looks like a bombed out town.
Last winter’s dead
And springtime myths can be retold
The tiny hand tugs at my sleeve
It’s good to know there’s nothing old.
Edwin Kagin (c) 2012