Why not Poetry…

It’s time for a change:

OUR SUMMER FURNITURE                                                          June 13, 1975                         A Report from Bernie on Prince Edward Island

Some sonofabitch
Stole our furniture.

Just a couple of rockers,
A couch,
And a bureau or two.

It seemed shabby and poor,
A poor man’s way of surviving,
Hearing it over the phone
From Officer Curtois
Of the Mounted Police.
(I heard “Officer Cootie,”
I’ll never catch up with
Anglicized French.)

That was October.
Now it’s June and I
Hear it’s more complicated.
That sunofabitch is
Multiplied by several.
And they aren’t poor.
They sell antiques.
Ours

Mirrors, dishes, tinware:
A picture of an old-fashioned
Girl with a modern cat
Climbing over her shoulder
And tasting milk, or
Soup, or something
Forever gone.

A picture of your grandfather, Angie-Ban.
Do people buy instant
Ancestors?
Or is that noble, bearded man
Long thrown away and
Burned in someone’s
Kitchen stove?
(Your eyes were his.
I’ll miss him in the living room.)

A framed somber annojuncement
Of death–two great-uncles and their nephew,
Lost at sea eighty years ago,
Now lost again,

And a priest’s phtograph
Unnamed:
If I knew who he was,
I forgot.
Now I can’t forget his pale, placid, collared face.
Only “Jesus as Carpenter”
Is left.

Perhaps it’s a lesson:
Learn a Trade
and
Find the Way..

Be loving and forgive the sinners;
Squat on the floor,
Eat from the common pot
(Did they leave any forks?)
LIve without chairs and
Chests–
Oh! the bear rug gone! Locked in a chest for  years,
It was a consolation on cold nights
to know it was there.)

Find an example in the
Mouse and the Bird,
No summer have they left us
Alone,
Always reminders–
Dead birds, mice nests made
Of blankets–
To comfort us.

The sun is there, too,
Usually.

If not the sun, then the
Clouds, or the
Rain.

All is God’s way,
We are left alone,
To ponder and
Fumble our Way

Through antique shop
Looking for the
Sunofbitches who
Stole our furniture..

 

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