Monday, March 19, 2007

So Long, Santa

You were good to us,
but we’ve got to think these things
out for ourselves, check in with you
later – why did I say that?
Not everything has to be
as big and full as earth.

After he found a million dollars in a slot
the boy persisted, dying without uncovering a lot.
It’s good to be painful
because it will come round again
and we won’t be ready:
Barbara Allen’s cruelty, the night wind
biting at scarves, pedestrians hurrying along.

And if I so longed for you as
to make the original millennial blush go away,
us back to our pets, things we had
to learn at school,
I’d be ashamed of my distance
from you, for being indispensable
at times and cures –
just getting the right thing right, for once.

After finishing everything up
I pay a formal call to the broker.
Sherry is drunk
and it will soon be time to think of the next set of circumstances.
Oh hell everything is that way,
this way, that way, twisted in the sun
of endurance –
the back way in then,
the assertion of formality without
a celebration next time.
That’s all any of us gets,
why I am happy with you, alone, just us.

-- John Ashbery


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