Charles Chaim Wax

Outside snow dazzled the air

each joyous dream bit twirling out from infinity
as I sat in Meng’s with the crew
watching the soothing streets without desire.
Suddenly I heard the exuberant sound of a kazoo
going at full blast, Yankee Doodle Dandy the tune,
or something close to it
and that could only mean one person, Henry Kosminski,
known to all the world as The Original Mr. Universe
here to earn a few dollars,
as he often did since his retirement from the circus.
Well, at the age of 92 I suppose he couldn’t do
what he did as a young fellow.
Besides seventy years at the same job was enough for any man.
Ginger, Sugar, and Susan Honey Baker
gawked at Kosminski’s still formidable physique
his body still retaining remnants of glory.
Now silence as Henry bent straight down,
lifted a chair by the bottom of one leg
straight into the air, then gently placed
the tip of the leg on his nose, removed his hand,
and left the chair balanced there.
Ginger, Sugar, and Susan Honey Baker
clapped without reservation and
while the chair still perched serenely on his nose
he played the kazoo.
At the conclusion of this demonstration
of strength, skill, and musical ability
he sat at their table and they each handed him a five
a moment later Huey brought
a steaming bowl of oatmeal
topped with six soft prunes which Henry eagerly slurped down
as this was his only meal of the day,
the money collected most certainly
used to buy trinkets for his mother
still alive at the age of 110 in the Half Moon Nursing Home.
“God loves Henry Kosminski, ” I announced.
Mary Dillion said, “Long life is a marvelous wonder.”
“He’s a great man, ” said Pete Bennell,
“all these years and he still takes care of his mother.”
George Lowrie opened a small brown bottle,
swallowed pills, how many I didn’t know
nor did Lowrie, finally, “I’ll never see 38, ” he said.
“Take a few more, ” said Mary and Lowrie did so.
Of course, I felt pity, his lifelong depression a brutal curse,
but the snow and the sight of Henry slurping prunes
tilted joy my way and I held fast to such a precious item
even when I heard Lowrie say, “What do they talk about? ”

Submitted: Wednesday, February 22, 2006

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  • Rookie Lori Boulard (3/9/2006 2:10:00 PM)

    I agree with PoHo; I would love to see some short stories by your hand. So many of your poems end before I want them to, and conjure up rich characters I would like to know more about. This one has a spark of hope without getting corny; tricky but well done. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Esther Leclerc (2/23/2006 8:37:00 AM)

    In the midst of everyday moments, something ordinary becomes so much more and you can't forget it. No one can ever know another fully, all their/our thoughts and joys. Thank you! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 150 Points Poetry Hound (2/23/2006 7:55:00 AM)

    Another good snippet of life. Very believable, realistic. I will encourage you once again to extend and develop one of these into a short story. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie ... ... (2/22/2006 12:24:00 PM)

    another good write. i was wondering charles if you could take up the option there is on the site to put them in an e-book, it only takes a couple of seconds to do and then i can store all your work on my computer and read at leisure when i'm offline. (Report) Reply

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