Monday, June 29, 2009

For Ed: Out Boarding House Back Windows

by Dee Newman

I reconnected with an old friend today who I have not seen or talked with in nearly forty years.

I have, off and on, over the years tried to locate him, but was unsuccessful.

Several days ago, I ran across an old poem I had written for Ed back when we were both attending the University of Tennessee. So, I tried again. This time, I simply Googled his name and clicked on “images” and there he was with his wife Lorie. His hair was white and he had a small goatee, but I recognized him immediately.

The following is the poem I wrote for Ed back in January of 1969:

For Ed: Out Boarding House Back Windows

Out boarding house back windows,
Across rusty-railing-case,
Far above the silky shadows
That dance beneath her lace.

Down narrow twisted lanes,
Along cobblestones stained rusty-red,
Passed stagnant liquid-mirrored-drains,
O’er the tin cups of the living dead.

I kicked the can.
I kicked the old blind man’s can.
And then, I ran,
Yelling catch me, if you can!

The stench of the sewer crawls along the road
Like a dull green serpent of old,
Stinging the nostrils of the toads
That squat and wait above the wormholes.

While in the Tombs the men sleep three
With the rats, the roaches, the lice and me.

You know, somethings in this country seem to never change.

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