by Richard Vince

A busy park under a cloudless sky;
Pale skinny arms protruding from
Short sleeves to catch afternoon Sun.

She turns away slightly, pushes
Long, chestnut hair behind her ears,
And tells me. The words hang in the air
With the hoverflies, shining in
The dappled under tree light, brighter
Than neon signs, almost tangible.

For the longest moment I am
Transfixed, silent, motionless;
She turns back to face me and
Asks the obligatory, meaningless question,
But I am stationary, standing
Stock still at the edge of the trap.

Refusing to engage with words,
My brain resorts to numbers, sequences
That seem so comforting in their
Familiarity: Fibonacci, factorials,
The friendly integers in which
My child self found refuge, a feeling
Of almost foetal bliss.

To her question, there is no right answer;
Only a thousand wrong ones,
Each a card that will be removed
From the house if spoken.

In the absence of anything good to say,
I settle for the truth: I will be
Fine. And I know that, someday,
Somewhere, somehow, I will be.


Posted on 05/26/2018
Copyright © 2021 Richard Vince

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Glenn Currier on 05/28/18 at 04:30 PM

This detailed description of a moment, a language/cultural moment that most of us quickly respond to without much thought, takes us into the mind and heart of someone who isn't willing to conform to the norm, the easy conversational answer to the typical customary greeting and question. How we lie so many times each day. Thanks for this, Richard. As usual, you penetrate the ordinary with your extraordinary insight and poetry.

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