The poet who died the other month,
or perhaps a different year?
I heard him beat a drum and chant,
or make some other holy noise;
the same place Lincoln spoke, quite nice, downtown,
though I can’t remember where.
I was convinced I liked him well enough
as I waited for the meet-and-greet,
to buy a book, hoped to get it signed—long hall
of women I thought I’d like to know.
I went back home, alone, stopped for a bite,
greasy takeout in a paper bag.
Then thought, he had a voice like God—
you know, the guy who played Mandela once?
Or, who’s the queen got her head cut off
at Henry 8th’s behest?
They say he sounded like a naked hiss.
I forget and this just a recent list
of what’s so hard to recall.
Suddenly, I remember, and don’t quite know why:
Cooper-Union, Morgan Freeman, Anne Boleyn, Robert Bly—
Everything will come to you, my fortune-cookie promised,
fetched from the bottom of the bag.
I’d hoped for more by now—a book of poems, to be rich,
a name on everyone’s tongue.
But it’s getting late to wait for will,
which seems to never come.
by Alan Walowitz
Editor’s Note: This poem describes aging and forgetting and remembering with images jumbled throughout the stanzas, but it is only at the end that the reader realizes that these words are a mirror to reality.