Guest Poet Paul Flannigan

Mister Jordan

Although it its bright the river is very brown, hardly moving.
Now that I am so small I wish I had not come.
Further up - a bridge I could put my hand around.

Then they see me. Both are in school colours gray, dark
Green, maroon. Sacred Heart. One kind of smiles, begins
From bottom up, which is my mothers way, and keeps

A little longer my heart inside of me. One grips a bright ball.
"Whirr after wee boys tae droon." The river lightens
And I shiver as our shadows slide away...

Now his hands sharply tug, push and pull, keep me still,
Undoing one at a time my mothers hard work.
I think my cardigan will never fill with air again.

"The baw! Brodie, the baw!" The ball. Brodie. The ball.
I run toward the bridge, unseen, buttoning up, run
Away from colours that move the cold, brown river.

October, 2000

Paul Flannigan's Questions:

1. Is enough of the story here?

2. Has the narritive "told" or "shown" the story?

3. Is the ending contrived?

Thank you,

The Albany Poetry Workshop