The Wind Always Screams At Me Here

Rocky the garbage man
said there was no air
down by the river,
waving his hand
across his face
as if he were shooing away
everything
that had ever oppressed him.

Then Rocky asked
how my team had done 
in the morning ball games,
taking an awkward uppercut
with his hands flying off
an imaginary bat handle.

Rocky observes a lot more
than he feels
he can articulate.

But Rocky was wrong this time.

I sat on the rocks on the promontory
facing south
and the wind came
as it always does 
when I'm here.

Always.
Whether the sun
dances on the muck at low tide 
like today,
or the ice is drained of hue
in February's gloom.

The wind is two voices:
Andrew's is behind me;
Kathy's is in front.

I've told them
I would not forget them
and I have not.

I've told them
I would tell their stories
but I have not.

Gulls shriek.
People chatter and drink beer.
Children dodge and squeal.
Andrew's and Kathy's voices
gnaw at the wind that contains them
but never emerge,
never syllabate
never make sense.

How could they make sense of it?
How could I make sense of it?

Andrew, 14, darting from behind
the brick switch house behind me
into the path of a morning train.
He didn't mean 
for it to happen,
a psychic said.

Kathy, 17, stopping her car
in the middle of the George Washington Bridge
I see before me, 
scrawling "I love you all" 
in the dirt of her windshield.
I don't think her body 
was ever found.

Their words are in the wind
passing through,
leaving us
tussled and 
transformed and
askew.

But I don't think,
now,
that those words will ever
break through 
their own frustrated sibilance
and articulate 
anything I can understand.

So, of course, I cannot tell your stories,
Andrew and Kathy.
But I still listen.
No matter how still the day has been,
the wind always screams at me here,
incoherently,
on these rocks
jutting into the river.

    Copyright © 2006 - 2017 Thom Forbes, all rights reserved.