pondered heart, always fumbling,
then onto the next, unclear strokes.
What was it, animals, baffled, strife.
And like tides to one apparent shore,
to lose our way we might shelter, uncertain
a torrent harbor. Swimmer so caught
like a standing pool; you, moved on.
And yet the ambit, currency, laps,
the comfort of the warming flow.
Pool no longer, puddle, palimpsest.
A calendar flapping in the breeze
granddaughter like an almost weightless
chapter to mark or regulate the hours?
Or would, is it to much to ask to look for
another, a hand to grasp,
pendulum or the way the movies know it,
and with her lending a hand swung –
and don’t tell me I’m asking for it, but
without my weight to balance the swing?
time stop, must it, on more
time, and then swing, independent
of years, of presence. Let’s look down that road:
a daughter between myself
and my wife, then take that daughter,
each other collapse or stagger.
An umbra follows, neither
late nor early, downtown, yes, yesteryear,
upstairs somewhere a tinny AM
an old show tune. Around, no one,
and you know the slight unease you begin
to feel when around, no one, just you
and someone, who was it, I couldn’t tell,
even in the lights, STOP and WALK,
even as it walked past me, not so close
as to raise a warning, just a normal
walkby passing except two privileged
trespassers on what otherwise
an empty street. Even so, turned right
a right angle between me and my pursuer.
And then, nothing, not much else, just, you know,
the boats, somewhere astern a siren.
Recent work by Bruce Robinson appears or is forthcoming in Tar River Poetry, Spoon River, Rattle, Mantis, Two Hawks Quarterly, Peregrine, Tipton Poetry Journal, North Dakota Quarterly, The Poetry Box, and Aji. He divides his time uncertainly between Brooklyn and Albany, NY, as do, though not without protest, several four-footed and sure-footed animals.