Friday, March 20, 2009

Prayers, Portraits, Post-Its (6)

His Surprise*

“It was incredible,” he said.
“As soon as I stopped trying
so hard things started looking up.
A woman I'd given up on
called me one night. Then she
and another woman I'd been chasing
in vain started feuding–over me.
Something straight out of my daydreams.
Business picked up a bit, then boomed.
Friends not only forgave me my lapses
but even seemed to love me for them.
I found a ten-dollar bill,
purple John A. Macdonald eyeing me from asphalt.
All these gifts, things I'd wanted for years,
started drifing down out of the sky
like snowflakes or apple blossoms
–like those elusive blessings we ran
and jumped for as children–but,
just like then, I couldn't grab hold
and catch one. You see, it wasn't
a ploy or pretence. It wasn't a tactic.
I really had stopped trying.”

[*Published in The New Quarterly, Summer 2005]

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