An elderly man stands in the art gallery,
Before a picture of the Virgin Mary, and weeps.
I see him, tears on his cheeks, eyes swelled in red-dreams.
I can only imagine what he is thinking.
The years have washed upon him
In a frenzy, unexpected, unstoppable
Time has stepped upon him and moved on.
Now in front of such beauty, he weeps and in weeping feels sorry
For all the things he missed, either
In long nights at home in suburbs, wondering what could have happened if only…
Merciless nights in bars, finding new lovers, never settling down and finding, too late
That it is too late.
Both, both miss much.
You cannot have it all,
And if you are lucky
At 90, stand before the Virgin Mary and weep.
This morning, at the bookstore where I meet old friends,
A man shouts into his phone
“We pay the payroll not them!”
He continued beside a shelf labelled ‘Literary Classics.’
“It’s not those guys who call the shots. Well you try it your way and if that works
Then well done,”
he stops before a shelf of poetry, and his hand reaches for but stops mid-stretch
“But I’m telling you; it will not go down like that!”
Speech finished, he hangs up as he passes Shakespeare.
He leans against a pillar as if he is out of breath
Out of life
And then pushing his phone deep into his pocket he takes the stairs,
Ascends to the street,
And is gone.
Something had taken his appetite for reading
A payroll will starve a poet.