Working Vacation

by HemmingPlay


After 60 years of work, more or less,
I’ve decided to take a working vacation.
I’m booking a cruise for the next 60 years
To go exploring along the coasts,
Poking my canoe up the inlets and rivers,
Probing the veins and wires and memories of
Some unfamiliar parts of me, and some
I’ve been missing for a while, to
Seeing whether there’s anything
Worth saving, or maybe just toss it all out.

I hope to sit down at a cafe on a spring morning,
Order hot, strong coffee and a bag of beignets,
Look sufficiently safe and vulnerable and mysterious,
Have a young Cajun girl come over,
Take a chair and steal one of my pastries,
Smile and flirt and share her youth and beauty,
Kiss me like she means it and
Say she finds me interesting enough for that, and not creepy.
(Old men’s dreams never tire of that one.)

The old chess pieces are all there, still covered in blood.
Time eats us alive
and today I am one day older
Yet am still younger than tomorrow.
I’ll get back to you about next month. I am
Set out on an uncertain enterprise,
With uncertain plans and unknown consequences.
Save me from myself, Oh Lord,
The cry in every throat.
Usually ignored by God
After so many failures.


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