By: J. K. Durick
Sitting here like this, it’s the snap of time
the slap of time – minutes, hours, whole days,
weeks fading into – into…
Perhaps it’s time’s wing’d chariot, or just that
’57 Plymouth my brother took me for a ride
in, up in the islands, 100, 110. It was frightening.
I knew things shouldn’t move that fast.
He laughed and gave me that look I knew so well.
He died on that same road a few years later
at a speed I’ll never know.
I’m just sitting here, feeling the snap, the slap of time
feeling the afternoon fading into evening, into night
into tomorrow, and then on into forever.
Back then we had a piano, a piano
I couldn’t play
no one in my family could play.
It stood there, an upright, stood up
right there tempting me to play,
to pretend play was the best I could do.
I’d sit on the stool, one of the ones
that adjusted for height, my fingers
placed on the keys the way I imagined
they should be, my feet stretching
to reach the pedals and then
I’d plink and plunk a tune, a shapeless
tune, sounds I imagined coming together
to be something more than themselves.
I’d imagine people listening to me
enjoying my music. For the moment
I became a piano player, an artist
a pianist plinking and plunking away
totally happy with what I was and
what I could create.
Better Than Nothing
Some days when I don’t have enough
Or any at all, I disguise myself
Dress up as a beautiful day for
The world around me
Try to fool them all and sometimes
Just sometimes it works.
Other days I become a slamming door
A ticking time bomb
A nasty rumor, an ill-thought out
Posting going viral on social media
A plot tightening like a noose.
And there are other days when I
Dress as myself and wander the streets
Try panhandling on the off ramp
Offer my soul for sale on eBay
Make obscene phone calls from the last
Payphone in the world
Step out on a ledge, or
Drive country roads with my eyes closed.
And other days, it seems easier simpler
I just sit down and remember and
Remember and then pretend that
It’s enough or at least
A lot better than nothing.
J. K. Durick is a retired writing teacher and online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Third Wednesday, Literary Yard, Black Coffee Review, Literary Heist, Synchronized Chaos, Madswirl, Journal of Expressive Writing, and Highland Park Poetry.