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james mcgonigal
Poet  •  Critic

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       Not a Day

I wanted to write not a day
will go past when you won’t
think of your father—your body
older by years now than ever his was.
Crossing the park under grey skies
maybe for morning rolls it seems
you are walking to meet him.
And even a day
when you think he did not cross
your mind you think now possibly
yes—only his thought escaped you.
He is around here often like those trees
jostling on tiptoe up on that incline
to follow the fate of a rain cloud
over each other’s shoulders.

Water in the pond this morning
has camouflaged itself as clay.
Moorhens scratch rules in cuneiform
from a survival book of reed-running.
Their vees of ripples
soon slip back into smooth opaque.
Fathers or mothers pushing go-chairs
bring toddlers to the edge. Look.
Ducklings and chicks. Swimming!
And they kick both legs together
rattling their buggies in delight.
I pass them byjust some old guy
of indeterminate age with a grey
beard but still looking not too bad
considering in these Original chinos
with the expanding waistband
‘built for durability and comfort’.

Click on the poem title to read the next excerpted poem from The Camphill Wren.