Cassandra


This poem has kept me up
two nights

Not that you’re responsible –
I’ve been waiting too long

And though it’s late,
the lights are on.

But now it’s dark
as dark between the sleepers

Who gather beneath this toadstool
midget lawyers of professional corner advice

In a room I never use:
we can’t seem to be quiet about you, child.

What could I do
about official feasts –

Could I provide my grandfather’s excuse
and his high collar like this

The way wild, sly women
take their place

Beside a man
too weary for waiting.

Now the world
appears among your guests

Suddenly apparent and unwelcome
as an anonymous donor

The company stands around:
you are sick into the night.

©Dean Baker

from The Lost Canadian, Early Poems Selected, e-book 

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