My mother, poised around behavior,
would say You are sitting there
reading and smoking, Hans,
And this would describe for her,
to her utter Satisfaction,
what it is you are doing.
Knowing you I guess you are
stationed there In grief, reverie,
worry- your car broken Down,
the mechanic wanting money,
and you without, For the moment,
what it takes- and you thinking
Of love lost as you read that
impossible book Your father
last gave you....I see you smoking
And as an addict myself I know
this is something You are barely doing....
The habit smokes itself And you,
you are turning the page where
the woman From New Orleans,
like your woman, goes to Manhattan.
I suppose my mother, in her mania,
could never afford To think
there was anything hovering around,
anything Behind behavior.
Unable to sit, to go into that sorrow
Where what failed to happen
presses against what did,
She would get up, go out looking for
'Something Different,' do anything
to keep moving, behaving...
Going. But you, Hans, you are a sitter,
and I know You will not be getting up
until you have put this time Behind you.
And so your friends pass by waiting,
Wanting to know what you will come up
with when you rise From your stationary chair,
our Hans reading and smoking.
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.