Four Poems

Charles Simic

Let Us Be Careful

More could be said
of a dead fly
in the window
of a small shed,
and of an iron typewriter
that hasn’t
lifted a key in years
both in delight
and dark despair.


A troop of late night revellers,
most likely shown the door
at some after-hours club
or a party in the neighbourhood,
still whooping it up
as they stagger down the street
with a girl in a wedding dress
walking pigeon-toed far behind them,
and calling out in distress:
‘Hey, you! Where the fuck
do you think you’re going?’

Passing Through

An unidentified,
inconspicuous someone,
smaller than a flea
snuck over my pillow last night,
unbothered by me,
in a big rush, I bet,
to get to his church
and thank his saints.

In Its Own Sweet Time

That one remaining, barely moving leaf
The wind couldn’t get to fall
All winter long from a bare tree –
That’s me! Thinks the old fellow,

The one they roll out in a wheelchair
So that he can watch the children
Play in the park, their mothers
Gossip all day about their neighbours

While pigeons take turns landing
And taking off from a newly arrived hearse
Parked in front of the parish church,
Dragging his gaze along as they do.