Rick Cannon


Proceeding a little further on, [Jesus] caught sight of James,
Zebedee's son, and his brother John. They too were in their
boat putting their nets in order. He summoned them on the
spot. They abandoned their father Zebedee, who was in the
boat with the hired men, and went off in his company.
Mark I:19-20

At first Salome wept bitterly as if they'd drowned. James,
John, she cried endlessly.

My anger cracked like lightning then on water. Some drifter
cousin from the sticks,

a finger-crook. Now I sit with hemp slack in my hands,
I can't do this forever,

younger men beat me to the spots. Here and there the boys visit,
scavenging food mostly,

lean, dirty as dogs yapping their sunstroke tales: this kin walks
on water, they say,

raises dead folk, feeds whole crowds from a creel. Claptrap,
I want to say, boys, ask

this genius of yours can he make me one hour younger,
can he return a single tear

to your mother's eye? But I stay quiet, slip them a coin,
maybe they come back one day.


Now and then off the interstate I'll head for one,
slowing through the country plaid,

entering the always peaceful Maple Street to hear it
whisper, I'll heal thee.

Like a Pioneer, I sometimes think geography will help.
I park, get out,

loiter among shoppers,
past curios, antiques, expert clock repair,

pause at the corner,
touch folded glasses to my chin,

think here, let me be remade,
let my breath be silver-sheet, let me cool to jade,

till my reflection goes dark and fractures and the cracked
window of the Five & Dime croaks tiredly, oh, go home.

Rick Cannon
Rick Cannon has won grants from the Maryland State Arts Council for his poetry. A chapbook, "The Composition of Absence," came out (Pudding House) in 2003.



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