Friday, January 28, 2011


author’s note:

As stated in the poem below, my hands do indeed seem small.

But maybe they’re just a little bit bigger than when I first wrote this poem.


Yes, Pedro and I
can still beam joy
in these spinning days
of confusion and blood.

While I sing
that child grins his cracked teeth, rings
his tambourine.
I pan for gold
with my banjo.

Yesterday, I took him to Congress
believing we’d at least
have the satisfaction
of feeling superior, upstairs
in the balcony.

But I just kept on seeing us
down below.  So

I brought Pedro back out
to bask in the sun’s rays
and witness the smiles
of the wounded.
No one ever loses his soul-- 
it’s only misplaced.

Many claim
that many children now
grow up
with their souls
outside their bodies.
But Pedro and I, we both agree:
it’s always been that way.

Still, we’re hopeful fools.
Pedro says
that if enough get mended
the rest just might
click into place.  A chain reaction.
The teeter totter effect.

To that end,
we spindle invisible projects,
turning the cranks inside our mines,
hoisting up buckets of ash,
all the while searching for
the occasional
jitterbug diamond.

Minuscule, but what can one do?
Our hands seem so small.

The question is:
are we winning fast enough?
A monster
--on the opposite side of the wall--
jacks the odds against us.

But maybe the wall is illusion.
So maybe we can bargain.

In any case, Pedro and I remain
solidly determined
to task happy:
my banjo is banjoy
and Pedro’s diamonds dance
like jumping beans
on his tambourine

to keep our eyes from bruising
when the tears begin to sting.

© 2011, Michael R. Patton

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