Out on a dike

Out on a dike phr. [mid 19-C] (US) going out in one's best clothes. [DIKED DOWN] I'm out as a dyke, occasionally out with a dyke. What I do when I'm out on a dike can become your business once I write about it here.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Window seat in standard class

I was in London today. Getting there by train, I had these thoughts.

Not Blue

The pen is black.
If blue I might
have needed to stop
in order to decide
whether to continue.
I could have been
wrongly poised,
paper averse.
For now,
the day is saved.


Windows are for looking out and through,
but harsh train lights present my twin,
hovering over opposite tracks.
It's impossible not to see -
half-turned in acknowledgement -
dark circles under eyes,
pores like newsprint dots.
I would not choose this early start.
Beyond me sheep have woken to rain,
resisting dampness beneath railroad arches.
Creatures waiting to emerge from shadows.


Yesterday I caught a leaf
in my trouser turn-up.
Was it there all afternoon?
Or did it drop later with the rain?
Carried home in a thoughtful haze,
showing me how to attend to the world.
I scooped it out, a yellow veined disc,
embarrassed what else might have
been not-quite-concealed as we talked.
Crumbs from my lunchtime sandwich?
A crisp from the lunchtime before?
Once I found a paperclip.
I think I can be forgiven one small leaf.
Leaves will fall where they please.

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