Saturday, September 27, 2014

We Learn by Watching.

Be gentle. Stay calm. That's the what I learnt by watching them
watching me, as if I was an episode in a long saga.
I always had that face for the public.
A mixture of repair, disdain to my very eyes.

When he brought Cindy home, I felt my face tighten
a dancer's bun, I had seen him fail responsibly before.
When Cindy came home, he swore to watch her,
tend for her needs: wash the hair gently like it was his own.
Walk her daily. Feed her and be company. Be a world in one body.
He made manly promises that were womanly executed.
He made the same promises before, I was the main witness-
I continued to stir the daily soups in silence. I watched them, a world of their own.
I never understood Cindy's secret, his blossoming
I stirred, silence.

It was the dog show, I still recall the October chill
the chill that wrapped me in the light brown jacket
before I stepped out into the fog, he said
he hated my jacket and the way I wore my hair-
I only said he looked childish in square jackets.
A jacket insult for another, another passing note under a long margin of thoughts I complied by watching him move, inside and outside my life.


The car next to us, like her house had Jackie, Jackie of sprayed hair and short light skirts- she greeted us and led Bruno, her mutt out. Cindy howled, and ran to Bruno
He ran to Jackie. Cindy was her owner's responsibility
I restrain myself, marched light-footed.
He smiled once her way, shame on him
He barked in my face but smiled twice at her, shame on him
he smiled the third time, but it wasn't short-skirt Jackie
it was the cameraman- what does he see that I don't?
Damn Cindy and the courtesy of dogs, and dog laws and owners!
He smiled another time but I couldn't look him in the eye
this time it was Jackie and Bruno-
I stroked Cindy's hair, asked him if he needed anything-
shame on me.

I sat watching the sun across the sky,
fading in early on a fall's night and they were late that day,
but the winds, my distraction- rushed with pairs of green and red socks
the children rushed with their kites, the day rushed while I stayed inside
and across the wind and the windows
the tardiness unveiled beyond the blown curtains
the marriage of Bruno and Cindy
All dogs; copulating animals, copulating arms and legs and faces that forgot
their owners, faces that left their owners hanging in sheets
by my bedroom window,
A dog walker's evening; not a woman's delight-
We only learn, hard by peeking at the life of other people
the life we think we own
what we patch perfectly,
Be gentle. Stay calm, again. I was watching them
glancing at me, all owners and dogs.

Another poem published on Visual Verse. You can check it out here: 

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