Monday, March 8, 2010

Portsmouth. For Ken.

We gotta do this at the press room.

Walking between the tennis court and Leary field, two arms embracing the south mill pond. Kids out late swing in the dark, creaking through childhood on the rusty chains...two neat dents in the dirt beneath their feet. Mystic clouds pass across the big dipper. The grass is tan now, the first tulip bulbs poking through the loam, greener than the law allows, younger than us all. The north church is proud tonight, white, erect, sharply pointing to some spiritual north we all align ourselves with. There's a knitting circle at the library, hats and scarves and baby shoes created in good spirit. Downtown the young plod the brick streets with beer breath, calling taxis and following clues. The ducks on the mill pond group together to create a constellation of their own, the yang to the bright star's yin. The tide is low but the ducks find an island of water. Years ago the mill pond would stink at low tide but the local students have planted oyster beds and pollution eating weeds and now the air smells like mud and grass. March spring in the nose, not quite out of winter's reach but we're running now and gaining ground as the old man lurches north. Maybe one more storm will remind us where we live but we've got the upper hand now and those trees that survived last year's ice storm and this year's wind storm are the strong ones built to last. That's the thing about the dead, they make room.
We're on the wrong side of the sun, spinning out of control and the monuments that appear to stand forever in the daylight are ghosts at night. Even the light beneath the flag at the ball park is too dim to bring out the blood red of the cloth. Something is waving there, chained to the pole, whipping in the wind. It's a vision only the early sun will reveal.
Teachers working late at the Middle school trade thoughts in the dark. These caretakers of our future once handed me great works of literature, for free, vetted by their minds. Where would it take me? Would I read it at all? They couldn't tell. They plan and plan and the day comes and a kid has a cold. They proceed through the field planting seeds, watering, no time to check attrition rates, only time to demonstrate their methods.
Branches still clutter the sidewalks so I walk in the street, no traffic, easier to see my wide path home.

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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.