October 19, 2009

Mark Terrill

A POEM FOR UNCERTAINTIES

I gave the waitress in the café a fifty & she gave me my change got sidetracked & left the fifty on the counter all alone with me & my conscience & I had to dig so deep down into my frail moral fiber that it hurt & I came back up emboldened with a spontaneous resolution to just do good & motioned toward the fifty & the waitress looked down & shook her head & smiled & picked up the money & put it away & then out on the street I told you what happened that I almost earned us an extra fifty euros which we certainly could have used but instead got caught up in a tangle of virtue & you said that I’d done the right thing & that good things would come my way & I said yeah but you have to take them for the interchange to be complete & we laughed & walked on down the sidewalk & suddenly I saw the whole world as a giant garden of crass uncertainties with a knot where my heart used to be & coffee & beer where the blood used to flow & the wavering contingencies stacked up end to end reaching up past the highest tower of cumulus hovering above the vast city of Hamburg & it scared me but I got brave & went on.

from Rattle #27, Summer 2007