"Man in Brass"
I don’t acknowledge him often,
pay scant attention when gliding
by the palm-polished knob
securing the basement door –
a door through which I’ll never pass.
Today, though, adrift in trivialities,
I spied him hunched down
on his wheeled throne, brassy eyes
pregnant with the casualties
of misfiring nerves.
Like a sideshow gawker simultaneously
repulsed and transfixed, I fought the urge
to mock him, instead mouthing words
of hope and forbearance … which rang
hollow as pompous political promises.
That night he appeared again
in a patchwork quilt of memory scraps,
first dancing along its border
like Bojangles, feet afire, then flitting
with the ease of a katydid across
embroidered squares of past expectations.
Let me come with you, I cry, to again
trip lightly in the fantastical world
of the mundane. But he dissolved
without replying, leaving me to stare
into a dusky chasm of discarded dreams.
Rick Blum has been chronicling life’s vagaries through essays and poetry for more than 25 years despite fingers that move unusually slowly due to MS. His writings have appeared in Boston Literary Magazine, Thought Notebook Journal, and The Satirist, among others. He is also a frequent contributor to the Humor Times, and has been published in numerous poetry anthologies. Mr. Blum is a two-time winner of the annual Carlisle Poetry Contest. His poem, Tomfoolery, received honorable mention in The Boston Globe Deflategate poetry challenge.