The poetic city: A suite for Miss Helen: “Distratcion 9/16/12”

The magic of Miss Helen (Photo by: Don Keller)

A Suite for Miss Helen: Distraction         9/16/12


I arrived to find you in the day room watching tv with the others.

A football game was on the big screen and you were paying close attention.

You offered me a seat to join you. I offered you music and dance instead.

You seemed unsure and reluctant; but you agreed to let me roll you to a corner

as long as the screen was still in sight.

Never would I have expected to compete with a football game,

and it wasn’t even the Saints ... I was undone.

Nothing I did could keep your attention from wandering back to the game. 

You kept trying to understand what you were seeing 

while I kept trying to bring you back to the dance with me.

Finally, I gave up the effort to impose my reality on you

and made the effort to join you in yours.

Then I saw what you were seeing: 

A mysterious ballet of men in strange garb

running, jumping, spinning, pushing, shoving, tackling,

stopping and starting only to repeat the process

for purposes unknown, unsettling, yet intriguing.

When it was time to go, you blessed me for my visit

and it was my turn for surprise, delight, and gratitude,

knowing I had done good in ways unexpected and unplanned.


© Reece Burka 2/1/2019


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