MS (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

0015 Reading A Short Story Of Whose Life

and since they say
you're the greatest American short story writer,
I'm reading the one of yours
you chose yourself

and as I'm reading
I become two people sitting here:

there's the cynical grown-up,
enjoying it yes but
all the time - how's he setting it up,
what's he making us feel? -
now he's slipping in
something a little out of kilter;
now it's all going wrong for
the guy - hero, villain?
now it's coming good again, how's he going to avoid
ending in fairyland or in total disaster?

and there's the little person
sitting in their tiny warm pajamas,
soft, cosy, comforting,
laundered with more love
than he (or she) 's yet earned in their short life,
knowing all this tale
from many repetitions
but loving this repeated game -
suppose
that this time, just this once,
it's going to end diff'rently...?

so only if I listen ev'ry moment
can I make it come out happily this time..

and when it ends - aah - like it should -
my tiny toes wiggling with delight -
and they live happily ever after...
is this the bliss I've not yet earned,
but what I'm due - the innocence
with which I'm born, and which entitles me
to know that this is me;

or am I being told,
this is the tale which I must earn with life? that
these are love's laws for me to keep?

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Comments (1)

I love this Michael! I love the feeling of such comfort with your vivid descriptions of this little boy in his comfy pjs.....I can feel the warmth! Also, of course, wonderful content all the way through! Sincerely, Mary I only had time for one poem this morning.......I'm so glad I clicked on this one!