Monday, April 7, 2014

Baggage

The Arts --- Poetry (Celebrating Poetry Month)--

Baggage
by
Ric Couchman























An opportunity for Art,
Most obviously,
Is that which you see
As wonderingly you look at me.
I see it in your face,
Pity definitely misplaced,
And the struggle within,
Debating whether to offer a bill
Or the left-over brunch -
Your tokens of good will.

You wonder at my baggage,
Your poetic mind astir
Churning out the words
Describing what you infer,
Making judgement in haste
From seeing the surface.
You observe my bags of pain,
For such you construe them,
My plastic bags of suffering,
As you imagine them,
While offering the quiet prayer
That you deduce I need.

And why, of your miscalculation
Should I disabuse you?
You laud your poetic style,
And of course, why not?
You coined the metaphor -
"Burdened by her bag full of smiles,"
Pointing out the contradiction,
As you perceive it,
Between those happy faces,
Those happy, plastic images
And my own worn-down visage.

And then there is my humanity
To which you pay homage,
Discovered in a simple act -
My use of Starbucks' napkins
To cushion the obvious fact
Of the pain caused by a strap
Biting into my bent shoulder -
An act that you in your wit
Will see fit to comparison make
With that of Orwell's Condemned,
That "puny wisp of a man," who
Around a puddle sought to navigate
While on his way to meet his fate.

And so, as you sit down
To write your poetry,
To reflect on what you suppose
Is my hapless misery,
I suggest that of your own
You be carefully mindful
While you still have the chance,
That for yourself you reserve pity,
Not for me nor my circumstance,
And about me all speculation end,
Being sure to allow my dignity,
For, the truth about me
You cannot comprehend.

[Photographic Art by Ric Couchman]