How to Shine Poem by Wayne Jackson


Shine
By Wayne Jackson 1950-1989

“Page #2″:
But fuck all that. Let’s hit the shift and see where that leads, maybe the truth can be approached obliquely …if at all.
And yes, there seems to be an obligation to this damn machine……a voice in the head which seems to say ” What would happen if you told the ……”

The only time I limp is in the mornings just after the alarm has gone off and the body is up but the waking mind is not. The waking mind of course is still where ever it is when it goes where it goes. I limp, then, through the trip to the bathroom to the kitchen for that first cup of coffee through to the first pacing where I check on Pat, who is still asleep, and on Chris, who is usually awake….waiting for the bus. It’s a visual reassurance walk just to make sure the world has left me where I left it, with two boys and my Marlboro’s.
The walk ends with a cigarrette and coffee in hand, at the front door. Out that door a road dead ends into a small creek….a simple scene that goes back twenty five years. Ghosts come to that door in the morning and they tell me who I am and what is expected of me. “I know”, I always say, I know…..I know.
There is this ghost of my grandfather shaking an angry hoe at me. I’d fallen behind. “You boys”, he said, “ain’t hopin’ out a bit”
And there are the twin ghosts of my boys when they were younger, one is angry, one is retrospective. I realize that their facial expressions mimic mine exactly. The ghost shows me obvious things that I should have noticed before.
Then sometimes there is the ghost of me. It’s about three thirty and I’m having trouble with the lock. It looks like I’ve had a good time.
And yes too, there’s the ghost of my father…He’d been walking in the woods…He had to stop every few feet to rest……He passed when I was so very young ….He never said anything that I can remember but my brothers said he expects us to shine.
How do you shine?

Copyright © 1997 by Donald Wayne Jackson, All rights reserved

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