Still Water Prose Poems

Copyright @ 1989 by Arthur Garfunkel
ISBN 0-525-24795-5
Used by persmission of Author - All Rights Reserved

40

Now imagine a scale with sunrise equal to birth.
Let a spring day begin at 7 am, and end in the
            night at 9; let 9 be set equal to death.
Imagine the life of a person was 84 years, and
            you have a proportional scale: 14 hours equal
            84 years.
 
I am a middle child, 42.
In a muddle in the middle of the middle, it is
            2 in the afternoon for me.
At twenty-to-two I am walking from the center of
            Sheffield to the hills in the west.
I'll only be out about 36 years, and return when
            the sun starts to fade.
 
I had breakfast in Queens;
            Spent the morning in school;
Fame struck at 11.
            Bridge played at noon.
Then I started the afternoon off with a marriage
            that lasted for twenty minutes.
Ten seconds before a quarter-to-one I fell deep-
            ly completely in love.
For forty minutes we lived by the sea and strayed
            among billowy clouds…being the day was young.
Now it's a quarter-to-three.
            I am under a tree in a town park.
The sun is still high, the day is sweet, and no-
            body thinks of the night now.
The years pass invisibly…a minute is 25 days.
What is to be done with the rest of the day?



Atlantic crossingJuly 1984