The path the old man walked to the Final Place
was dimly lighted, treacherous underfoot
with crusty snow glittering in the moonlight.
The perfect snow for sledding, he remembered.
The night was chilly, but he had a coat
and, anyway, had never minded weather.
He thought of all the pleasures he had passed,
cream cheese, hot cocoa, delicate flaky pastry,
other January nights ablaze with stars.
He did not blame the keepers, who were kind,
nor the hard necessity that made the rule
of making way for children who were coming,
but would have liked some music with the meals
or, all in all, some pictures on the walls.
—from Rattle #38, Winter 2012
Tribute to Speculative Poetry
Conrad Geller: “I have been writing poems since Harry Truman was president, maybe before that. The problem is, I can’t stop writing them. My pleasure in poetry comes not from expressing myself (who would care?), but from playing with language—its sounds, rhythms, and the reverberations of its words.”