Thursday, June 17, 2021

On Any Given Day

Column after column,
it’s all there: life partitioned into rectangles
that tell with a journalist’s imprecision
the warp and woof of who and where

but never the why, that tight-lipped witness
who plays it close to the vest.
A boy went missing south of Coney Island.
In Manhattan, the temperature was rising in July.

Wars and rumors of wars hid below the fold.
In France, a man was turning a hundred and six years old.
Corn and turnips, he said, held the secrets to life and health.
He ate them daily and drank whiskey before bed.

A racehorse died under mysterious circumstances,
and the stock market, jagged like the Alps
outlined in black ink, told me that my mattress
was a comfortable savings and loan.

Thunder shakes the sky,
and I think of Noah and his family.
I pour myself a glass of wine and, like the patriarch,
I fold the pages and climb the stairs alone.

~William Hammett

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