PP (1949 / Toronto, Canada)


'When God is in your life you're forced to grow,
whether you like it or not.'

That's what she said to me,
a little woman who humped herself up on the barstool beside me.

Fortunately I have given it up and will talk with and learn from anybody,
the older and more deformed the better as they have been relieved of the burden of youth and spared gratuitous attractiveness.

She was lonely of course.
She missed her mother who sounded like a soul-mate, and resented her father's brutish love that she tried to assuage with banana-cream pie that her mother taught her to make:
that was made with love-bananas and love.

He swallowed it in great unknowing gulps, washed it down with a rye and coke and sank into depths of hollow repletion.

She never looked at me, I watched her eyes and not once did she look directly at me.

I think she did not feel worthy, given she was old, twisted and barren.

Who did she have to love, now?

I did not want her to love me for a simple act of kindness, for listening.

She loved God, but only because he was constant in his eternal absence.

I kissed her cheek, and told her that I was going to write a poem.

And so I have; and I would pray, if I knew how to pray, that she has a deep and restful sleep this night, and wakes refreshed in the light of the world; or the next, if that is where her solace lies.

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