Called in sick today, the Irish soul
in me clamoring for intensive care.
Slouched in November Park, I watch
cold needles of sun prick
bench and pathway; scribbles
of wind tighten the sparrow's wing,
the bellies of camellias.
Where Sunday's children took
their seesaw laughter from the knoll,
dandelions spring, shiver.
Why is it we, eternally twinspregnant
it seems with fear and self doubt,
look to parks for a soul douche?
when parks, miracles of aloofness,
ever prefer appearances: the huff
of puffball poodle, the arrogant
amble of the gaunt hearted.
Across in porch shadows, a solitary
teenage black rocks her fevered
coughing child. I sense her acceptance
and like her quieting babe,
feed on the genius of her calm.
Faintly she smiles at me.
A frieze for late autumn: three
exiled by a town at work, rather
more together than not,
as home-sick souls incline.
Moore Moran's poems have appeared in ForPoetry (online) with others forthcoming in Candelabrum, a UK poetry journaland by invitation in Robert Barth's anthology celebrating the centenary of Yvor Winters. Earlier poems appeared in Threepenny Review, New Letters, and Beloit Poetry Journal. His first full-length book of poems, Firebreaks, won the 1999 National Poetry Book Award and was published in May.