I rest brokenboned, what moves is inside—
hot-teared, slow like the summertime.
The mothertight hold of my children’s hands
pulls on the palm heart of past time.
How can I know you for fifty years?
The scurried numbers in a lifetime.
Sloped rhythmshift memory of hips
awed by the snowglint of wintertime.
Your eyes are questions. My soul stutters,
prays for your body’s answer in time.
I cling to the clutterstuff of my life,
afraid to shred myself away one time.
Freeforward speed, bikebalanced ease—
remembrance is tease out of time.
Don’t follow me, I am lost
in the silence between notes
where bowed-down words never rise.
Mercypray for the interlude–
take 5, take 10, take whatever time
thoughts need to tongue travel.
Don’t follow me where first words failed,
then second. From couch to sofa to
that which can only be pointed at.
Or get off my face, when I mean my case,
where the blues catch me laughing
just to keep from crying.
Don’t follow me in the lapse and lag
of my new-old life. Your name is a long line
I forget. Precipice to cliff to nil.
Listen with your eyes, jaw jutted.
Memorize the family tree, the forest–
its wordworn paths. Don’t get lost.
I say don’t follow me, but you will.
Lucy Rubin re-found herself as a poet at the City College of New York after a 45-year hiatus. She is proud of being one of the founders of PS3 in Greenwich Village, Manhattan in 1971, where she taught all grades and served as a literacy coach for 44 years. Currently, she sings with the New York City Labor Chorus, plays harmonica, guitar and piano. Her children, Lily and Jake, are a constant source of joy and inspiration.