Wednesday, July 1, 2009

On this Canada Day morning...

This woman
Wears a red dress
And sits alone on a park bench.

This woman sits on a park bench
Wearing a red sleeveless
Sheath dress.

This woman sits on a park bench
In a red dress with no sleeves
Even though this Canada Day morn
Is quite cool.

This woman sits very still
On a park bench
It must have taken her
An hour to iron that red dress.

This woman sits on a park bench
As if alone In the world
Heedless of passing bus
On which I sit
Watching her in her solitude.

In her solitude
This woman sits primly
In her red dress,
Knees and ankles
Properly together,
As from another era.

An era of sheaths
And prim sitting
That I remember
In my bones.
Yes, she's wearing
Red spike heels
Also from that era.
After all, it is Canada Day
And red is called for.

This woman sits on a park bench,
Her head slightly bowed,
Maybe looking at a small bouquet
She holds in both hands
In her crisply ironed
Red cotton sateen lap.

This woman sits on a park bench
Moving her lips
Perhaps in conversation
With lap flowers..
Or perhaps in song...
Or perhaps in prayer.

This woman sits quietly
On a park bench...
Lips defining some intention:
She gently raises her head...
Eyes on gravestone before her.

This woman sits contained
On her park bench.
She nods and continues
Silent conversation
On this Canada Day morning.

Toronto, St. John's Norway Cemetery

1 July 09

Monday, June 30, 2008

Queen Car

Crowded streetcar
Too late for morning rush hour.
Elderly couple board.
Each seems to need help
As they hand each other
Up steps, pay fares
Move carefully to seats

Reserved for aged
Or handicapped.
They chat comfortably.

A few stops later
Second couple boards:
Elderly, but less.
No help needed...
Except info from driver.
They are tourists.
Map in hand,
Man asks if we're headed
For Yonge Street.
He stumbles on pronounciation,
Unsure. Driver confims
Both pronounciation
And destination.
Then they discuss fares.
Couple seat themselves
Behind driver to search
Coin purses for exact change.
As they peer at unfamiliar
Currency, woman of first couple
Says, here take these tickets.
You'll save a lot of money
Instead of paying cash.
Second couple look up
In confusion, then
As woman reassures,
They accept with grace.


Same Day, Same Queen Car

I sit not reading
Because I'm enjoying
Warm glow from
One couple's kindness
To the other.

Idly, I stare out window.
We stop at red light.
People cross in front.
One of them is
Very large woman:
Neatly dressed,
But there's no hiding
Her size.
She uses cane deftly.
I wonder if her size
Is cause or effect.

As she approaches
Sidewalk, light changes.
Woman with cane
Pivots to cross
Other way.
She notices errant
Discarded drink box
At edge of sidewalk
Where it might block
Or cause misstep
To next pedestrian.

Without missing step
She wields cane
In gentle poke...
Moves offending box
To place where it
Won't blow away...
To place where it
Will be accessible to trash collector...
To place where it
Can't be a risk to

Saturday, July 3, 2004

Chivalry During the Day

On way to work
Streetcar caught
Three cars from posted stop.
I see her
At corner
Waiting patiently.
Short, not just with age,
But certainly age
Must be taken into account.
Dressed in run-down, over-run running shoes
And tattered track pants.
Arms covered with
Light jacket zipped up to neck
Against record-cool
August morning.
This woman holds
A doll in her arms.
A baby doll. It’s dressed
In old-fashioned lace bonnet
And cotton gown, gray and dingy
With age and neglect.
But this woman holds her doll
With care, gently against
Her shoulder,
Pats it and coos to it
Then as streetcar advances at last
She carefully walks up to door,
Hand on door rail,
P-u-l-l-s herself up steps.
She shyly displays pass
And puts it back into jacket pocket.
Streetcar lurches forward,
Woman stumbles, is helped to seat
By grubby old man
Himself not too steady on his pegs.
He gives up his own seat
At front of car:
Place reserved by law
For age-ed and infirm.
She sits and brings baby doll
To rest in crook of arm
With quiet cooing
And there, there sounds.
Old guy makes way to back of crowded car,
Stands for rest of journey.

Office building is place
Of pre-press technology.
Artists work elsewhere.
Here we are Mac operators.
Returning from big printer downstairs
With Jim, customer service rep,
I walk along back corridor
And see another woman.
This one exits washroom.
Tall, maybe not from youth,
But certainly youth
Must be taken into account here.
Her tallness is emphasized
By long legs.
They go all the way up.
They're slim and really long
And they're walking
With bounce and abandon
And, did I say?
They go all they way up…
To a very mini
Pink little swingy skirt.
But… what’s this?
The back of the little postage-stamp skirt
Is caught in top of underpants!
She moves on and I wonder
If I can catch up
And warn her
Before she gets back to
More populated areas.
Suddenly she reaches back
And frees skirt from panites.
She looks around
Laughs, blushes.

In the instant...
Jim moves swiftly forward
Beyond embarrassment.
A gentlemanly gesture,
Or embarrassment of his own?
Of course he saw.
Does she know he saw?
I approach and compliment
Her swift recovery
And beautiful
Bright purple of underpants.