On the Nature of Things

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May 9, 2012 at 4:08 pm  •  Posted in Poetry by  •  0 Comments

The English man in the pith helmet
with a broad brim, blocking
the sunset by the wind

Women old and small talking
about deeds done
and travels won.
Braggadocio.

The old one, Big Name in politics,
who spent so many years
selling her
Self,
and now the sagging eyes,
the breasts hung low,
and fine wrinkles laid
across her adamantine brow,
her face locked
in a frown, forehead strained,
the nose of a swine,
squat and wide.

To the small one she says:
What you do
depends upon what you do.
This
is what I do—
fight the system, make it all
happen.

The small one, average,
cheeks full and round,
straight hair pulled back—
and the cute bangs—
with pink sweater proper,
slight pinkish cheeks to match.

To the old one she says:
I would like to do
what you do.
Quietly to herself: not really.

Meanwhile,
the man by the window, standing
while I could fall asleep right here—
none of this keeps me going.
What are they, the sweaters
and the other things?

Still
the English man in the helmet waiting.
Still
nothing happening.
Nothing
but endless words
and setting sun.
Still
I do what I can—
be
silent.

The old one watches,
nods occasionally, looking tired.
No place for the man in the pith here.
No space for a man in this place.
The women have taken over.
What we do
depends upon
what they do.

__________

Poem: On the Nature of Things © 2012 by Shawn Radcliffe / Branáin

Photo:  © Copyright Basher Eyre and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons License

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