Sunday, August 7, 2011

Wobbly times number 122

When I was nearly two in Panama

I’d switch the car’s ignition off
then my mom and dad and I
would roll
engine silent
to a stop
in the driveway of our bungalow

I sat on sunlit front porch steps
with Janet
my first friend
the perfect girl next door
we two
dressed only in our diapers
legs all dotted
with dirty smudges
comparing notes
contrasting views
in babble-tones
me about some cars I saw
she about some baby things
at least I think that’s what she said
I could never really understand
but she was fun
that’s what counted
down in Panama
in ‘46 and seven

The days and nights were warm
not hot
just heat enough
so’s you didn’t  need
to be
encased behind
the airless glass
just some screens and louvers
That was all we ever had
or wanted when
a tropic breeze
for covers
was quite

All stretched out
like cats
were we
on starched
white cotton
evening sheets
those summers without end

Like the ancients
long ago
I didn’t know
what was meant
by time 
oh no
not then
Hours were not
measured so
in second ticks
and hard
short hands
Days and nights
passed by
like ships
cruising in a big canal
that’s what it was like
when I was nearly two

Magic lived within thin air
and all around 
the shadows dwelled
as monsters
under beds
in wells
in closets too
while spirits danced
most everywhere
under over
in my head
in places
which I’d  only dreamt
when I lived down in Panama
so very long ago

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