Why It’s So Hard to Start a Poem Without Knowing Yet What You Want to Say

The wind and I went wondering
I crossed paths with a wandering wind
Me and the wind shared the road
A wind went
I went
The wind

How can I describe this to you? To understand it you should be thinking of rustling leaves and traffic lights in the dark – or in the dim orange dark of streetlights under stars.

Me and the wind, we went the same way tonight. I to buy bread & eggs & beer; the wind to check that all leaves in the oaks labelled Past Due were thrown out. Orion was AWOL, or it was my bad eyes, but everywhere I looked Cassiopeia and the same Dipper they saw in Charlemagne’s day were out there blazing.

It’s odd that deer and shadows are stranger than stars so far away that light has to pack a few lunches when it wants to visit.

That’s wind for you. It brings out the (un)familiars. Well, they give themselves away, too, don’t they? It’s in the ears, for deer. No expression, but see those big ears tilt and turn; see that apparition gather itself with uncanny grace and strike out to glide away – down the sidewalk, into the bushes – nothing louder than a rustle. Then the wind whips up those bushes, fancies itself a conjuror, makes monsters of silhouettes, calls up chimeras. I don’t know how it pays the bills.

This is also about bread & eggs, Wind. While you were making trouble in the trees, I sweated something fierce carrying back that bag of groceries. My bladder asked “Are we there yet?” with the persistence of a small child.

Wind, you should have come on in to the grocery store. I think the girl at the cash register would have liked your company. Or you could have subbed for her. The mundane has such potential, but too much of it is hard on us.


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