Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Just Cause

Just because I feel like putting an older poem up, I'm going to put it up. Look at that picture of Jerry, Janis and Ricky Danko from the Festival Express above. Singing "Ain't No Cane on the Brazos." I see that and think of all my friends trading folk songs and all the old songs we know and love in our circle of friends. Sounds like hippy babble, but it's true. It's something I think about and love in the night after a long work day when people and songs I love come into my mind. Anway, here's a poem for anyone who's reading:

P.S.: Wade went for 39 pts, 2 reb, 2 stl, and 4 blks, on Sunday against the Pistons. MVP?

Dear Mrs. Capuano

Dear Mrs. Capuano, you look fine today,
Your hair is still blonde and straight,
The way I remember it in summer –
The big wooden picnic table,
And the plate of cold grilled chicken.

How’s your daughter, Mrs. Capuano?
Did she finally marry a millionaire
The way your husband would’ve wanted?
Will I see her up on page six,
Or on the cover of Life magazine?

She was the one who opened the world
With her small eyes and insecurities,
The way she loved me when I didn’t,
And her ocean biology and curves,
Which later broke my heart and left me with epiphany.

Where are my old friends, Mrs. Capuano?
You never knew them so well,
Just from the photos and mug shots,
But you’ll have to tell them I’m alright,
I just had to go up north and grow a beard.

You’ll find my friends if you look hard enough,
One’s a doctor and the other a thief,
One’s a cook and another is a lover,
They’re all illusions of myself
That I play from time to time for you.

I turn to you, Mrs. Capuano,
In the fallout of my education,
I have no atom bombs to scream at,
My world is made of oil regulation speeches
And an audacity to hope.

I don’t know where your daughter goes at night,
What kind of moon she sees or pretends to.
I’m as far away as you are,
I only know what happened back then,
The way she wore wet hair in the summer.

But I don’t care about all that, Mrs. Capuano,
Love will always be well used on the young,
It’ll never be wasted or misspent,
What comes next is the understanding,
And an ability to accurately dream.

You and I have seen the cigarette rubble,
We’ve walked under all the overpasses,
Those things will always be there for us –
Each generation looks for the world to get stranger
When it’s shape has remained the same.

You could’ve been my mother, Mrs. Capuano,
What trials would you have led me through,
What confessions would we have shared together?
Things turned out the way they had to,
And you still drive the kids to school.

I’ll never be tall or strong like your husband,
But I could love you the same way he does:
Late at night on the back steps without passion
With only the sounds of the trees and streets,
While you wait to see your daughter hop the fence.

I saw a mother and daughter in yellow, Mrs. Capuano,
They looked at their reflections in new slick windows,
They weren’t blonde but brunette like your daughter
And when I saw them, I thought of you two on a beach,
Before you were in my world, and didn’t feel sad.

The daughter pretended to cry, like yours didn’t,
Her tears were as real as the cicadas and deckwood,
The mother twirled her, like you must’ve done,
When I dropped her off with a puffy red face
And you knew that it was the world and not me.

I’ve been watching the storm fronts move in and out, Mrs. Capuano,
I see clouds and then I see the break from iron steps,
There is a smell of garlic, then fruit, and baking pizza dough
As the sun sets on the lavender rooftops
Where I wait for the rhythm of summer to reveal itself.

Who would blame me if I put everything in a letter?
I could leave it for you and everyone else I’ve loved,
But I’d get to their doorsteps and see the green paint,
I’d see them in the middle of dinner through the window,
Their shapes clearer than they are in my mind where love lives,
And I’d know what you knew at the end of August,
Because I’m like my generation in every way,
Because it is me and I can’t blame that on the world.
So I’ll touch the frayed lace curtains and turn.

“Excuse me, Mrs. Capuano, I don’t want to interrupt you in the middle of dinner.”

1 comment:

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