by Gerald Early
It is the one window on the block you notice;
A big bay window that fronts a room of cheap
Furniture, that frames dingy drapes, a
Television that is always on, and one can
Hear, beyond the glass, a melodrama, a comedy.
In the big bay window is a cracking picture,
Cracking from the sunlight, faded to white,
A picture from a photographer's studio, you know,
A study of a young man's face at graduation or
The night of the prom, a face framed by stiff,
Conked hair and wearing a look that you know he
Could not have possessed when, an instant before
The smash, a moment when the utter magic of freak
Occurrence and the blood of pathos stuffs the mouth,
He realized, in that instance of belonging, what, in the picture,
He seemed, in its whiteness, only to be dumbly guessing at.
From How the War in the Streets Is Won: Poems on the
Quest of Love and Faith by Gerald Early. Copyright © 1995 by Time
Being Books. Reprinted courtesy of Time Being Press.