ten to five in the afternoon

Rene Magritte, The Human Condition

ten to five in the afternoon

there’s a spring where you’re a five year old
playing snakes & lizards under water,
a father who leaves him there to grow up
because you’ve got better things to do like

being at a grotto pool watching five turtles
come up for air & food, a leathery corrugated
fish without a head as old as creation while
the shadow at your side could be your woman

& you’re the two kids swimming there, a boy
who’s disappeared up a spot-lit birth canal cave
followed by a girl so happy to be there
you decide to change & follow suit

as in the change room you’re a lean woman
in a uniform who wants to fine you ten bucks
for swimming there & asks for your identity
which you can’t find as your wallet self

becomes a plastic concertina of family
photographs of your father even without
a moustache just like you as you walk down
yourself a loud Melbourne avenue at ten

to five in the afternoon of your life late
as usual for that deadline flight to somewhere
or other you assume you’re coming or going
when you haven’t got better things to do

[a poem I wrote last year based on a dream I had]

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~ by Peter Lach-Newinsky on September 3, 2011.

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