At 28, With Friends In France

At 28...

We are cleaning 25 years of a) junk b) books c) clothes d) sports equipment e) children's schoolwork
f) all of the above out of the bungalow this a) weekend b) month c) summer d) year e) decade f) all of the above. There are some interesting finds, including this piece of juvenilia, a letter written to my friend, the now very accomplished executive director of the Oklahoma Policy Institute, David Blatt. No, not the coach of the Cavs David Blatt. The Vernon Barford Blues David Blatt.

At 28, with friends in France,
And others dead,
I, being neither, will take my middle circumstance
(Bowing to the Larkin I've lately read)
And begin a trans-Atlantic chat
With a friend I remember as David Blatt
But, first, yes, the thermostat…

Which, now adjusted, let's begin,
Hoping this letter finds you in
Good health, warm room, old shoes,
Because, as one who works in news finds out,
All becomes a blur of soot
With no foundation underfoot.

Yes, says the reader right on cue,
"That does bring life's challenge into view,
But where to find the adjacent light
To give allegiance to?"

If you thought that a tired rhyme,
Consider just how tired I am.
(Iamb, what iamb?)
Tired beyond counting sheep
You might call it pollster's fatigue.

Alexander, Alexander
It's of that boy I sing.
What's the matter? What's the matter?
Here's your teething ring.
You're still crying. What is wrong?
I'll hum to you a lullaby.
But Golden Slumbers bring more tears
And a guess that you're not dry.
But dry you are. Perhaps it's gas.
You raise my hopes with a tiny burp
That only ignites a fiery wail.
I'm out of time. I'm off to work.

With Blatt and wife Patty


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