“Let’s Meet Yesterday” by David Jordan

David Jordan


Puzzling over his date book,
our chairman says: The next meeting
will be—hmmmm. Yesterday.
That must be wrong, don’t you think?

Not at all. I’d love to meet yesterday.
I’d ride in on my red Schwinn,
the one with white rubber mud flaps,
battery-powered horn hidden
in the crossbar, dented fender
where I clobbered the neighbor lady’s
parked car. I’d bring Midnight, my dog
Pop shot after he caught distemper,
and Calico, my cat who died
after Walter Bongi kicked her. I’d sit
on that yellow plastic kitchen chair
I chewed a hole in during a tense
moment listening to “Bobby Benson
and the B-Bar-B Riders.” We’d drink
Bosco, eat Moon Pies. During the break,
we’d argue whether Duke Snider
and the Brooklyn Dodgers are better
than Willie Mays and the New York
Giants. I’d jot notes on a lined sheet
of paper made with wood chips
big as my fingernail, then wad
it into the back pocket of my jeans
with the iron-on patches at the knees
and go home to Mom Quigley,
who would feed me cinnamon rolls
and sing “The Old Rugged Cross”
while she sweeps the floor, never once
mentioning the stroke that put her
in a coma for five years before she died.

from Rattle #26, Winter 2006


David Jordan: “When asked why I write poetry, I like to quote composer-writer-performance artist John Cage: ‘I have nothing to say and I am saying it and that is poetry.'”

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