The Seventh of January

Written January 1998

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on the 7th of January all of these Christmas trees lie
abandoned at curbside, waiting for trash trucks to arrive,
on the 7th of January I’m missing the funeral
for the last of my great aunts, who’ve fallen like dominoes in a row,
+++ and I’m in the same row, waiting for who knows when,
so the 7th of January is all I will count on..

at the corner of Forbes and Murray everyone’s in a hurry,
rushing off somewhere, nowhere fast, could be anywhere at all,
the man in the wheelchair’s rolling down to the post office
his daughter on his lap, he’s spinning, she’s just holding on,
+++ and I’m in the same boat, headed for who knows where,
the light’s changed at Forbes and Murray, but I am still standing there..
+++++ Wednesday.. Pittsburgh.. cloudy.. then brighter
+++++ how the city murmurs, and I’m still here..

at the end of a century, at the end of a sunny day
there’s a question that shadows me, a feeling that will not go away,
it’s darker than wildflower honey, sad as an old, old movie,
sweeter than daylight, it’s as brand new as every stranger’s face
+++ who stands at the bus stop, headed for who knows where
on the 7th of January, just past Epiphany,
+++ and I’m in the same boat, waiting for who knows when,
so the 7th of January is all I will count on…

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