The Children: after Patrick Kavanagh by Robert Creeley

Down on the sidewalk recurrent
children’s forms, reds, greens,
walking along with the watching
elders not their own.

It’s winter, grows colder and colder.
How to play today without sun?
Will summer, gone, come again?
Will I only grow older and older?

Not wise enough yet to know
you’re only here at all
as the wind blows, now
as the fire burns low.

an old favorite: Later by Robert Creeley

If I could get
my hands on
a little bit
of it–neither fish,

flesh, nor fowl. Not
you, Harry. No one’s
mother–or father,
or children. Not

me again. Not
earth, sky, water–
no mind, no time.
No islands in the sun.

Money I don’t want.
No place more
than another–
I’m not here

by myself. But,
if you want to give
me something for Xmas,
I’ll be around.

Back by Robert Creeley

Suppose it all turns into, again,
just the common, the expected
people, and places, the distance
only some change and possibly one

or two among them all, gone–
that word again–or simply more
alone than either had been
when you’d first met them. But you

also are not the same,
as if whatever you were were
the memory only, your hair, say,
a style otherwise, eyes now

with glasses, clothes even
a few years can make look
out of place, or where you
live now, the phone, all of it

changed. Do you simply give
them your address? Who?
What’s the face in the mirror then.
Who are you calling.