Archive for August, 2012


August 17, 2012


Hello Claire he salutes
several parked car lengths away

An unwieldy train of shopping carts —
to which Sonny is the orange reflective
safety vested caboose —
rattle-bang echo his greeting

My name is not actually Claire
nor is his Sonny but his does bear
some close approximation to the one
which might have been
discarded as too juvenile long ago

How long have I known him?
decades — maybe three
and his recognition
such as it is
has become a cherished part of my week

even the alias
especially the alias
which I have come to accept
as a alter ego better of myself

At first he’d ask me my name
unable to recall my previous responses
Now I don’t know your name
and for about a decade I repeated
My name is Gemma

For the next decade or so he’d say
Hello Claire!
to which I corrected him gently
that my name is Gemma

We had other conversations
when he came inside to bag groceries

He was a fan of pop stars
and with his social group attended concerts
which he recounted to me
with unflagging enthusiasm
and peppered with tabloid factoids

In the third decade he’d furrow
his increasingly lined brow
Claire, is it?
to which I replied
Yeah, You got it right, Sonny!

Last winter in biting sleet
Hey, Claire! across the parking lot
Let me help you!

As we in tandem unloaded a full cart
into my trunk he read aloud
my bumper sticker

“Give peace a chance” …

    … John Lennon sang that …

    … He was one of the Beatles …

    … He married Yoko Ono …

    … He was shot to death …

    … Give peace a chance …

    … The politicians should read that …

You got that right, Sonny!