Poetry / Poets

Almost Gone by Art Heifetz

Happy Birthday indeed.
              Old men like me
              are the last leaves
              clinging to the tree.
              One waft of God’s breath
              and we’re gone.
              After that? Who knows?
              I hope there’s plenty booze
              and fine young women.

              You were almost gone yourself
              that Sunday by the pond
              when I glanced up from my paper
              to see a floating bag of Wonder Bread
              and no trace of you
              or the mallards who had fled.
              Frantically searching
              the reedy shallows,
              I made out in the murk
              your frightened eyes,
              your flailing arms
              attempting to claw their way
              back to the balmy summer day.

              On the shore
              I pushed and pulled until
              a tiny pool of brackish water
              formed at your lips.
              Then gathering you in my arms,
              I whirled you round and round,
              trees and pond and sky
              spinning like the first creation.

              Let’s cut the cake now.
              The first piece is yours.
              Mind you, don’t go
              and feed it to the ducks.

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7 thoughts on “Almost Gone by Art Heifetz

  1. Art Heifetz is an Ex-Peace Corps volunteer and retired insurance agent, currently teaching English to refugees and writing poems, 60 of which have been accepted for publication since June in the U.S., Israel, France, and Australia. His website is http://polishedbrasspoems.com/.

  2. This is a very good structure for a narrative poem. You led with the ambiguous opening before describing the event then crafting the exposition in the denouement. I particularly like the metaphor of the opening stanza. It is quite beautiful until you wreck it with chicks and booze! It is also admirable that the rhythm and tone throughout remained constant irrespective of the frantic rescue. I very much enjoyed reading this. Well done.

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