After 23 Years

I had a dream

that an old friend

who smoked cigars,

lifted weights,

taught English

at an obscure college,

and wrote poems

on yellow legal pads

was living in

New Hyde Park,

Long Island,

working in produce

at the A&P and,

at nights,

running a food concession

at Iona College,

in Westchester.

 

He’d had three kids,

one just born,

with a woman

I’d never met and

he’d never married.

 

He answered my questions

directly,

without apology

or explanation.

 

He never took off

a black raincoat,

and did not respond

when I said

we must get together

again,

sometime.


I knew then that

he still was writing poems

on yellow legal pads

that no one

had ever read.

 

5/7/97

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