Hiram Larew

Like Whistled

 

If I could be anything at all

            I’d be a curve

Because nothing is as direct or to the point

            as some bend is

Or is as beautifully lit from beneath

            or lifted along the way

Nothing else goes out or comes back in

            like what’s whistled

 

I’d be a curve as much as anyone --

Smooth edged between

            here and there

            now and then

            done and care

 

I’d turn myself into

            a rounding of

            a jaw its mane

            some rugged moss

 

I’d be a curve but more than that

            the shape of times like these

            that skirt so close around

                           the only if

                           and really be

What’s to How

 

If times are leary

            and water seeps

Or stories fraying

            and eagers dip

 

If dreams are coughing

            and endings scrape

Or brothers slipping

            and certain blinks

 

Then what’s to how

            or hope to keep

 

If Spring is older

            and hellos beep

Or tree trunks leaning

            and corners wait

Uncle Never

 

He came through when no one was looking

Slipped in unnoticed

             just like a noontime shadow

And it was only when things were finishing up

             coming to a close

             that someone said Who’s that

 

No one seemed to know

              or cared to say

 

And just about then he started to mumble

             and point his finger

             here and there at everyone

Like a prophet almost

             with those rounded shoulders

 

What he said

            was Live simple!

Then something like No more high-strung wires! (or ways!)

And then he coughed out No more cream ever again!  

Never!

 

All this time

             he was frowning and smiling

             together

 

And so, everybody picked up and left

            in a shuffle

Especially when he turned round

            Like a dervish

here and there in the dream

            up on tip toes and in that burlap cap

 

Yes, disperse was what happened so that

            everyone was soon gone

 

He had probably been drinking

            or was just full of lone and roam

 

In any case that next morning at breakfast

            the butter seemed to

            taste very brand new

            what with all of it

            being melted 

At Woodlawn  Aug 2 2019 Smaller_edited.jpg

Hiram Larew's poems have appeared widely, most recently in Poetry South, Honest Ulsterman, Contemporary American Voices, Fevers of the Mind and Best Poetry Online.  His most recent collection, Mud Ajar, was released in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.  www.HiramLarewPoetry.com