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No one noticed that it was midnight out.
The tools to make the tools were forthcoming.
It wasn’t so much that we were afraid of farting
as that other thieves had gotten wind of his maladdress.
She was startling in her new headdress.
Oodles of trolls performed the funeral litany—
hey, it wasn’t their turn at the foc’sle, so why
be perturbed ahead of time, and too late? The factory
whistle blew and released all the workers inside
who came crowding down along the pavement.
As though walking on stilts people blew up in amazement
like pieces of trash a wind desultorily lifts,
then returns for no visible reason. We were all tired
and happy, plodders on life’s great thoroughfare.
None of us were in it for the long haul, but paradoxically
all of us were, we just didn’t know it yet. But when I
looked over at her I could see why they meant sadness,
not from any bereavement, but growing like a stem
in otherwise barren ground. Oh, sure, there was plenty of majolica
on buffets in those days, chafing dishes with lids
to be lifted and then put back again. There were mild
pools in the woods far from any stream, and ant-size
buggies patrolling the slopes. Good thing for you
it was too. That they were there. Or just on the threshold
of being, like a dream. I told you not to be a gnat
about things, that sooner or later worrying would grow up
to become part of experience. It was just that you
seemed to believe me when I wasn’t being especially serious.
That, and the tens of revolutions to come. I say,
shall we go inside? The combination of rain and sunshine
always finds me defeated, and then other causes come along,
seeking attribution. Meanwhile if he matriculates
in one to ten years, who’s to say I’m not stodgy either?
It was all we could do, her and I, to keep from laughing
at his strife. Meanwhile the fire burned bright.
The maids grew petulant.
But I don’t care, really, none of us could
as long as time brings up the rear, placing a napkin,
folded just so, over the era and whatever it
thought it was up to. Now, doesn’t that make a lot of sense?
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