Showed me your tap dancing routine
on your mothers kitchen floor
played The Beatles’ “black bird” on your acoustic guitar & opened your sketch book to a pencil drawing
based on an Irving Layton poem to be turned later into a painting.
Books from the library stacked 10 high, Kurt Vonnegut to Ken Kesey, Charles Dickens to who ever wrote iRobot.
All this you showed me in an hour
you’re growing up into a strong-hold independence lady day of the north.
The grown-ups I know are still playing little kids’ games. In the silence of night you bake clay in the oven & paint pots with acrylic oil & tiny brushes. Aretha your cat claws at paper on the kitchen table, & eyes a raven or a pidgeon out the window of a home you & your mother made from scratch.
Sometimes my life is like musical theater, sometimes it’s the old-school testament of make-a-dent, it rolls & sometimes flashes a breath of a feeling I had when I was young.
Spring is coming, in Ontario it meant the snow melting & the return of train track weeds, morning bird song summoning certain smells of winters end.
You’re a young lady now, the world is lucky, and so am I. Buddha you breathe double-digit-life into the aging dance against the clock ticking on an answering machine, & remind me rock & roll was meant for kids from a broken home.
You may still be up reading, but for sure your mom’s asleep for she is to be up early for work.
I liked that poem that I randomly came to flipping through that Kurt Vonnegut book where the last line of it was the title of the album of that singer who wrote iRobots need love too.
I can hear the rain drizzle & I’ve seen a scene fizzle & fade into empty seats.
But you’ve grown up past the side walks & the junkies, the mean girls & closed then re-opened, then closed again cafes, the parents who play drums on pot & teachers who missed the point, past your mother’s & father’s mistakes, past all the woman who tried to love your Pops like moths to light, in spite of all these people, failures you succeeded, I admire you like no one else climbing the tree to the fort of destiny branches.
Most history books read like racist road maps that will not get you where you need to be, without them first trying to pass off some bullshit wisdom which leaves their ugly stamp of upheaval & real fuckin’ waste of time on your thought patterns & blank canvas imagination.
But the young lady who beat all the odds & can fly like the 10 p.m. raven or
the nighthawk pidgeon Aretha watches from the window, free on a neighbours roof its wings breathing like a cold wind from Southern Ontario before the-no-more-snow-pants of spring, like the blackbird of the dead of night’s complex chord changes, boo-yeah.
The rain now sounds like Harlem renaissance angels tap dancing without regret with light touch control.
Maybe every poem becomes a painting, but not every child becomes a young lady so strong & armed with such power and abundance of tough beauty.
I farted on your porch as I was leaving. The moon couldn’t roll down the window so it hid behind a cloud.
A fierce-eyed raven rested on my shoulder, I sent word with a carrier pidgeon.
Aretha licks her lips watching the window as another book is turned into a Hollywood movie & another poem smells like spring.
Your mother hates me because of the wounded vow of love
daughter, the pidgeon will be disguised as a white-winged dove.