He sits

May 3, 2012 § 7 Comments

He sits at the kitchen table
and talks about the dead
as if they had just passed
him the cream and took from
him the sugar

in a white t-shirt
pushing around
a jumble of mail
and newspapers
he talks about the dead
as if they just finished
their coffee and adjusted
their greasy ball caps

he sits
in this compressed time
the years slipped
into the small pocket
on the bib of his overalls

and talks about the dead
as if they just rose
from the chairs around him
and tapped him on the shoulder
as they walked by him and
out of the front door
into morning

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§ 7 Responses to He sits

  • This is incredible! So much character development in so few words. I love this piece.

  • John Stevens says:

    Yes, this is beautifully relaxed and utterly convincing. Strange how time can sometimes be compressed and “slipped into the bib of overalls” – a very nice way of putting it.

  • Thomas Davis says:

    This is a powerful, powerful poem. It reminds me of Mana Forbes, a Maori man who is one of those who regularly sees and converses with the dead. In American culture he would be considered insane, but the Maori see him as a special, special human being. I agree with the Maori. The point is that the character in this poem is gifted in a strange way, and the poet, in describing him, takes no position concerning his behavior, but just tells us about it. I agree with John about the wonder of the lines that lead to time compressed into the pocket of his bib overalls. This is truth as it is perceived by most of us even if we don’t think about it that way. I am awed by this particular poem, although it is not the first time I have felt that way by one of your poems.

    • Thanks! I’ve read a bit on their culture, I find a lot of things interesting and inspiring about aboriginal cultures. A great amount of wisdom comes from the people’s of new Zealand, Australia and the amazon. Thanks for visiting my blog, your support and comments are always enjoyed. Fred.

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