Three-Cornered Jack (Written December 20)

Three-Cornered Jack

 

And pausing at the corners,

Waiting for the traffic to pass,

He gave a good hard look down

 

The familiar streets. His bookstore,

Which had been part of the town

For two decades, was now closed.

 

The café where he’d done his writing,

Day after day, as a self-imposed

Discipline, was home to a new crowd

 

That he had little in common with.

For a while he had been proud

Of his work, but lately he had pittance

 

To show for it. Down another block,

Tucked into a building next to the hospital,

He saw the headquarters of the festival

 

Where he’d been one of the main organizers.

He had thought he was living in the best of all

Possible worlds, until he realized

 

That one of his colleagues, unashamedly

Ambitious, was being recognized

For ideas that he had brought to the table.

 

Catty-cornered was the highrise where

His son lived, with whom he had a stable,

Though somewhat distant, sporadic

 

Relationship. Further on, toward the water,

On the opposite side of the street,

In a basement apartment, his other child,

 

A daughter, wanted to be left alone.

Instead of aging gracefully, with a mind

At ease, at every turn he was held fast.

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