The mind that for
I can only fathom a guess
over two decades has been
for whatever ill-conceived reason
protected from harm and damage
inside a skull,
atop a body,
whose digits drum incessantly
in intrusively noisy percussion
on the hard and hollow table-top,
is a mind that seems to me
allergic to stillness,
averse to silence,
absent of concern,
regard, or courtesy.
this horrible and annoying mind,
may it enjoy its time
being met with kind smiles
and polite laughter for now
and may it at last and for good
meet its reckoning.
I curse you, O chatterbox.
I curse you, and hope
both your thumbs shrivel into toes
and eventually drop from your hands
into the mud
where they are consumed,
digested as seed-pods
and grow into enormous beanstalks
which yields nary a bean,
You are close enough, you decide. You wait.
The men share a glance between themselves. The larger man returns to the truck and sits inside, behind the wheel. He waits.
The first man walks to the back of the vehicle, which must apparently be empty and open. The man confirms this by dropping the rear gate and waving you to come.
Like a dog, you think. You don’t know what the phrase means, because you’re not sure what a dog is. The words simply come to you, as you continue forward toward the man.
He pats his hand twice on the bed of the truck and stands back and says, “We’ll get you to town, and stop wherever you want. You got an address around here?”
You pause before climbing up onto the truck. You say, “I can’t say.” It is the best that you can think to say. You climb onto the flat-bed and sit, facing back to the open gate and the bearded man, who is studying you with hands on hips and thumbs hooked into pockets.
“You don’t got any more of your clothes with you?” he asks.
“I don’t think so,” you say.
He breathes in deep through his nose. He sighs, and says, “I got a jacket in the truck. You might get chilly back here.” The man walks around to the open door and retrieves a plaid jacket of hard, blue and black wool. He throws it to you and you catch it, and he slams the gate closed and slaps it twice with the palm of his hand.
He says, “We’re gonna take you to the hospital, if that’s all right with you. You don’t seem like you’re hurt, but if you can’t remember your address and you got no clothes with you, then you gotta reckon you’ll want somebody to take a look at you. Take care of you.” He waits a moment, then nods his head once and says, “Okay?”
“Okay,” you say. You have a feeling you should say more.
You make a decision. You move one foot, then another.
The grass is pressed down in twin footprints where you were standing. The new grass is cool on your feet as you walk toward the road.
“That’s right,” says the first man.
The second man has yet to make a sound save his chewing of gum, rhythmic and deliberate.
You are less than fifty paces from the truck, and you can now make out more of the men’s details. The first man, the one who speaks to you, has a thick, red beard covering his face.
You don’t think you have a beard. You realize then that you haven’t yet touched your face. As you walk, you allow your fingers to come up and touch your cheek, your jaw, your chin. You do this quickly, then put your hand back down at your side. You don’t have a beard.
The first man is wearing a plaid shirt with buttons, a belt and blue jeans. The second, larger man is dressed very much the same, but does not have a beard. His face is smooth, like yours. He might even look something like you, but you can’t be sure. You don’t even know what colour your eyes are.
The first man fidgets, kicks at the gravel on the road. The second man watches you the entire time you make your way across the field.
The request for silence from on high
was no doubt heard
by each and every ear-adorning head
which bobbed in compliance,
yet was fast forgotten
by first one, then six, then fifteen,
until before long the cavernous corridor
was a-clamor with murmuring conversation.
You could see the swelling frustration
spread over the face of the talent
who chomped his gum with total commitment
peering down from his mark
and silently cursing the masses below
who chattered on
oblivious to his rancor.
You don’t move. You wait.
The other door of the truck opens, and the second man steps onto the road. He is larger. You cannot see his face. Leaving the door open and the truck’s engine running, the second man walks around the front of the vehicle. He stops to stand between the beams of the headlights. You can see particles of amber dust floating in the light. He posts his hands on his hips. You can see the man’s belt buckle, large and round.
The first man calls, “It’s all good, Mister. You just come on with us, and we can drive you anywhere you like. You need to go to the hospital? We can take you there, it’s not far.”
You don’t move.
You know you can’t just keep waiting. They will come to you. If you do nothing, they will come.