Live for the Poetry
The small boy knows he is part of you;
that his heart still beats in you
even as you walk old neighborhood streets.
He is with you, follows you,
watching you. You never
thought you'd live past thirty three.
Live for the poetry that shows you
the way. Open the curtains. Pigeons
roost on the gray sculpted facade
of the abandoned synagogue in Budapest
where you met the old man from Israel
who came to bury his son who survived
the Nazis. Follow the poetry
to cold gray windy rocky Ireland
where bards still sing by sea
and in cities and towns wracked by war
and insurrection. Go on to Paris
where you can feel yourself walking
with Apollinaire in the smoky air
near the Tuileries and in the country
air as you climb the mountain
to Montmarte and Sacre Coeur.
You love the sound of French.
You can imagine what the sounds mean
like the sea's symphony.
The ever recurring chords
of the poetry comes to you too in New York
as you walk the Village streets
with the poet who stops to inspect a leaf
in front of a brownstone across from
Washington Square Park light shining
through the leaf like fire and so you can
shine like fire if you do not forget
the small boy who still dreams
and teaches you to live for the poetry
that you were born to write.
Poem © 2000 Gary Pacernick, all rights reserved
appears here by permission