I was in the yard working
when I heard, through the
open kitchen window,
my wife tap a spoon shank
on the edge of a cooking pot.
Of course, it was my mother I heard,
as if transported to years ago,
me a boy, playing in the yard, dusk falling,
my father clipping hedges,
my hunger just starting to gnaw.
Then one of my boys ran past crying,
“Mom? Is it dinner yet?”
and I, brought back to the present,
hedge clippers open wide,
knew that that boy—
not a duplicate of me
or owned by anybody—
was, nevertheless, in a living line
of felt continuity,
I lean my elbows,
an uneven café table
chinking, sliding saucer
tinkling ice cubes in a glass that
clinks a sugar dispenser—and I’m
my sketchy, troubled, already-
vanished reverie of elsewhere,
my raised elbows
resettling—and resettling me to—
flatware, glass, saucer.
Mark Belair’s poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Alabama Literary Review, Atlanta Review, The Cincinnati Review, Harvard Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Poetry East and The South Carolina Review. His latest collection is Watching Ourselves (Unsolicited Press, 2017). Previous collections include Breathing Room (Aldrich Press, 2015); Night Watch (Finishing Line Press, 2013); While We’re Waiting (Aldrich Press, 2013); and Walk With Me (Parallel Press of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, 2012). He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize multiple times. Please visit www.markbelair.com
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