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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

DAVID HASKINS

Reading Glasses
Timmy’s, Yonge and Richmond

Looking up to rest my eyes I see
in every blur of passers by – you,
a purple puff of silk around your neck,
your slender figure, grace in every step.

Anyone can be anyone in this city.
I am stateless, persona non grata
among people going about their business,
reading on a bench, stopping in for coffee,
chatting with one who assembles sandwiches.

Then again, you, crossing the street,
carrying a bag this time, a purse next,
always somewhere to go that isn’t here.

Could you not once come in,
sit with me, watch the evening light
becalm the street?  We could talk
about a movie one of us has seen.
Nothing between us but the faint scent of sandalwood
We’d grow old for an hour; I wouldn’t mind
if you checked your watch.  Under the table
our knees might not touch.

I take off my reading glasses.
In an  instant, we were never here –
only sounds of cars and cash registers,
an Antonioni slow fade to black –
(poets were all film-makers in the 60's, you said)

Outside you walk past, not turning to look.
I see you, harbinger of forgiveness.



Editor's note:  This poem was performed at Conrad Didiodato's book launch on Father's Day and was well received by the guests assembled there.

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