At the Eleventh Hour

Now at the eleventh hour we pad about,
cap in hand, like alcoholics making amends
for slights which the victim only pretends
to remember, only feigns to forgive –
quizzical our parting hug in the vestibule,
he whom I once offended fumbling for my name,
sharing stories that do not jibe
but thanks for keeping the past alive.

Less than an hour to rid my soul of its burdens,
I take a cab to the outskirts where lives
an old flame whose hair like mine has turned
wintery and we try in vain to regain the pulse
which animated so much divine foolishness,
a way defined by blind adoration not brute fate,
chuckling at our remembered indiscretions,
things we got way with while under the spell.

The approach of midnight agitates the pilgrims
who have gathered beneath the clock tower
to watch those two upright palms unite.
The generals are primed to commit genocide,
angels shining a low light like silly fireflies;
through one’s ears the brain is washed
yet a gentle wind calls forth a deeper voice,
fountains in the plaza hushing the bronze clang.

Douglas Smith, formerly a teacher of Anthropology at York University, is a homeopathic physician.and author of several books on alternative medicine. It is claimed (although Dissident Voice has no proof of this!) that Doug and his partner grow the best garlic in Haliburton County. Read other articles by Douglas.