January 14, 2003



Possessions
by Laura Jensen


Like jewelry his bicycle
gleams on my porch,
attached to his hands,
carried a flight
before he even knocks
and it wheels its
majesty into my kitchen.
As we talk of the torch
I flick my lighter. Later
we fly to the park.
He wheels away down streets
and sometimes closer,
asking how far,
how far, but we get there—
wooden barriers marking
the route, the band,
the children given
yellow t-shirts, kazoos,
balloons. He leans
against a tree, the bicycle
leans against him, his
other arm
comes around
me, for a moment.
I say it is like
a cover from an old
Saturday Evening Post by
Norman Rockwell—the blue
sky roped by stars and stripes,
the old brick restaurant,
the green canopy over us,
old people in hats and mesh
chairs. After some serious
waiting, a number
of false here they ares,
the children release
their balloons as rehearsed,
and from back of the crowd
I see the runner dimly,
and clearly above him the torch.
He tells me each
keeps the torch he ran with.
And we walk and wheel
back to the ducks.
Where the shadows of a willow
reflect, he tells me
I'd become an alcoholic
if I had a glass like that
to drink from.

Copyright © Laura Jensen

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