Sunday, December 17, 2006

some daily language

Delivering newspapers as a boy
in the dark four a.m. morning
I learned Oregon coldness, shuffling
sound in shadows, afraid when
sprinklers suddenly jumped on
listlessly afterall, distantly barking dogs,
ominous where I walked under pale
street lamp fluorescence, a bathroom light
turning on in a quiet house from someone
no doubt caught in between dreamy
sleep and shuffling slippers and then

off and gone, that all these I learned
sneak along the dark fence lines
of a permanent loneliness, completely
new to my young always daylight
sense of the neighborhood, that word
expanding in me to a terror of the infinite
beyond the literal.

Even in my own little half
lighted 3 a.m. living
room, my fingers gathering
a film of newsprint ink
from rolling and banding
each of a hundred papers, in my heart
I was crying
from myself the warm salt water stores
of a childness that longed for hiding
in covers and blankets
and my mother’s soft singing voice to me
and for each them to last longer

than they would.


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