In in-sown pleats and a pilless
heavy weather coat, he wove with his hips
as the bus caroomed down Beeler St.
He wavers between two futures
split by my mind’s projector.
He runs between plumeting bombs
combat boots smacking the ground
muscles gleaming as the crack of guns
is muffled by his shark-toothed grin. Or
face shrouded by experience,
walking with a stained cardboard sign.
Shuffling window to window, palm up:
“Wounded Vet. Anything helps.”
Swaying to the jazz racket of the bus
his winter gloves hang large tapering suddenly
to thin, winsome wrists; pale and smooth,
until they are engulfed by that black
I wrote this in biology yesterday. It’s not quite finished but sometimes I get the urge to write poetry. And the previous class had left these beautiful, poem-sized squares of blue paper sitting under some of the seats. I collected half a dozen of them, and spent the period writing out the poems which had been cantering in my head.
The title comes from the penultimate verse of the Irish anti-war ballad “Johnny I Hardly Knew You.”
“Where are the eyes that looked so mild, haroo, harooo?”