Mr. James Clancy - Poem by Richard Lord
When the women come by with their blood smells
Alive in the chalky morning,
He is right at their smiles like a tiny, quick bird,
His black, dotted eyes saying 'mornings' and 'evenings'.
And they are proud to glimpse him in his brisk, open friendships,
This man they know vaguely, but very well so.
In their drab circles, they will talk of his talk,
And his tiny, quilt smile;
All these women would love him if love were just something small
They could set later on mantles, with seashells and lacings,
But here in the mornings they give him their laughs,
One at a time, all in a tandem,
And he, if he has it, will dip them his hat,
And creak how he was always the greatest for ladies,
And later, laughing, they'll say it could have been
If the nose were different, and the brow, and the chin,
That even as he passed his hand through a small child's hair,
He might have been a lover, or one tease of pain,
Meeting someone alone on that beach,
When the sky has clung to a late autumn purple,
And husbands trudge off to meet their first batch.
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