Poor Richard by Timothy Rodriguez

Go quick, don’t see, get on the gone,
Run from the quiet between echoes.

Richard, all that you’ve lost
During glittering walks
Cheats up on you as a shadow.

Shutting off the fortune found
In weeping harmed you most:

Now to eke out a tear, one tear,
That bespeaks of joy or sorrow
Dissolves on your glowing cheek.

Was it a question
Of refusal or denial?

Or perhaps the secret
Cold that comes on you
Without warning or warrant?

How hard was the frost
That blistered your laugh

And cost you another truth:
The chaliced choice to school
Sight and sound against ruth?

Remember, poor Richard,
When you pranced on springs

With legs made to leap
Over any feeling that
Came with a coiling cost?

Was it days or years ago
—and does it really matter—

When that wretched
Reckoning torched your psyche
With the truth that you lost

The power to pray
Secretly convinced it was

The same sham as shame?
Wasn’t that about the time
When desires departed

Because a niggling reason
Had long failed to chart

A course on the very ground
On which you freelanced
During your imperial walks?

You should have run right—or
Left—but not right up to the gun.


“Glitter” image by Flickr user Jamie Henderson

IMG_20140915_163907_034-1Timothy L. Rodriguez was a journalist when newspapers counted, he is a poet when poetry doesn’t count for much, and he is a novelist when the fate of fiction is uncertain. He has published in English and Spanish. His novel—Guess Who Holds Thee?—is available on Amazon. His fiction and poetry has appeared in dozens of national and international journals. His most recent novel—Never Is Now—has been serialized in the UK at www.newlondonwriters.com.