Friday, September 22, 2006

Catching Up

Schlepping It

Hello, Bob, it gratifies my heart
to see you schlepping your luggage
through Union Station, tired, harried,
harrassed like yours truly--

you with your newsworthy mug,
your bestselling blockbusters,
reaping mucho buckos compared
to my thin Roosevelt dime, huffing

through travel delays to grab
a cab with pine scent air freshener
dangling with the cabbie's
prayer beads, his U.S. flag

as Columbus in the circle stands
burdened with pigeons that roost
on his folded marble arms like raisins:
Christo schlepping just like Bob and me.

Christopher T. George

The "Bob" I saw by the way was columnist Bob Novak, who has been involved in the Karl Rove - Valerie Plame affair. I thought of making it Bob Woodward, which would bring a whole other aspect into it and mentioning how the little affair in Iraq is going but then I thought that would take the poem into a direction and heaviness I perhaps did not want to go in. . . Any comments appreciated.

And in case anyone does not know the word "schlep"--

From the Free Online Dictionary: schlep: To carry clumsily or with difficulty; lug.

It's a Yiddish word.


* * * *

The Dockers' Clock

As I clock off with relief after
another day of ob-gyn editing in D.C.,
I recall the Dockers' Clock back home
in Liverpool where I toiled as a clerk
each day recording the ships coming in
and out of dock seeing the eight-sided
granite clock tower erected by Jesse Hartley
a full hundred years before my birth:
eight clock faces showing eight times
every day with corroded copper hands on
the stone tower named for good Queen Vic,
then a girl only ten years on the throne
and happy -- thirteen years before Albert's
death from typhus. Stalwart-named docks,
warrens of industry amid Liverpool's
poverty: Albert, Canning, Huskisson,
Nelson, Stanley, Wellington. . .

Christopher T. George

  • Jesse Hartley - Victoria Tower 1848, a.k.a. The Dockers' Clock

  • * * * *

    Wearing My Mother's Cardigan

    The first cold snap of Fall: a frigid
    northwest wind blows like a blast
    off the Greenland sea. I forget
    my jacket in work; Mother loans me
    her black wool cardigan with its
    hint of Calvin Kline's "Escape."

    I wheel her to our Crackpot meal;
    she hands me her shopping list
    with a white purple-veined hand.
    Her birthday's a fortnight away
    and she's scrawled on the bottom,
    in confusion, "What age am I?"

    Christopher T. George


    Sherry Pasquarello said...

    hi chris. i like them all. the last really touched me.

    Christopher T. George said...

    Thank you, Sherry! Donna and I took my Mom out for her birthday last night at the Prime Rib restaurant here in Baltimore. She has just turned 86.