REGARDING THE ECLIPSE
Chances are I’ll never tell
the story of how I found myself
adrift at sea
in a twelve-foot dinghy with a single oar;
or how, once, in the mountains
called Sierra Nevada,
trapped on a snowbound freight train,
my intrepid companions and I
existed for several days
on a fifty-pound sack of frozen marshmallows.
you could call it adventure, but at the time
it was nothing special. Anyway,
some events—like cloud formations
or teenage children—
are completely inexplicable.
My ambitions were nebulous at best.
All I ever wanted to be was a glass blower
or a wood carver
or failing that, a utility infielder.
A career in the Foreign Service
looked promising once, but I couldn’t feature myself
in formal attire
on a balcony overlooking the capital . . .
What would I be doing there?
to the Peruvian attaché’s voluptuous wife?
And so it is that I stand
on the sagging porch of a tumbledown house
regarding the lunar eclipse
through binoculars held steady by my stalwart left hand.
With the other I gesticulate wildly,
but fail to observe
in the shadow cast by this earth on the moon.
from Journeyman's Wages, Story Line Press, 1995).