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French Toast

I don’t know who left the door open,
but out you walked
carrying that copy of Proust which you never read.
You said only something about shopping
and how the working man suffers for his cigarettes.
I can not recall what you were wearing
but I suspect something impractical
against the coldness of the day
and the coldness of what was to follow.
The kitchen had a hollow echo
like empty rooms
wherein the ghosts speak
and the dream becomes the moment.
Fried eggs on French toast
and the odour haunts the house with fumes
of faraway thoughts
broken by the knowledge that now I cook for one.
I stand in the centre of the lounge
arms outstretched on the invisible cross,
waiting, without belief,
for some sort of resurrection,
of memory perhaps,
of hope, so they all tell me,
of the flesh, not in my philosophy.
Too quiet the long hallways
from where we laughed to where we loved
in the staccato of sweat
now that the opera is over.
One pair of gumboots,
too small for my feet,
stands alone on the back porch –
I can not bear to get rid of them
and from time to time
trample them through the mud
by hand
just for old time’s sake.
‘Why didn’t you listen to me,’
I ask in one breath.
‘Why didn’t I stop you’
in another,
stand between you and the door
with a rāhui on my breath:    [1]
‘Do not pass!’
And if I ever spoke again
with words which would actually mean something,
with the weight to command events
and change worlds on a whim,
let them close doors.
And when the wind hollers from the other side,
‘Let me in,’
I may say to the wind,
‘You already have the heart’s jewel,
pickpocket of the night.
Leave me alone with my French toast
and the crumbs of remembrance.’

(2008)

[1] Rahui is a Maori word for a spiritual tapu or ‘no trespass’ placed over an area where, typically, a tragedy has occurred, usually maintained until the place is blessed.

Categories: Poetry Tags: , , , ,
  1. Poetry Maddness
    03/11/2011 at 3:57 pm

    Great post today thanks. I enjoyed reading it very much.

    Feel Free to Share this wonderful poem with everyone:

    A River of Time

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