Looking Through Stained Glass

One Hand
Old Man in Window

The stories of the street are mine, the Spanish voices laugh.
The Cadillacs go creeping now through the night and the poison gas,
and I lean from my window sill in this old hotel I chose,
yes one hand on my suicide, one hand on the rose.
~ Leonard Cohen (The Stories of the Street)

I spy out my window, pan the changed neighborhood
And decided all this change is not for the better
Variety has its place, yes, that’s understood
But it suits neither me nor my aging setter
And I’d change it all back, if only I could
Tales of old I tell to ones who know not hoe from staff
With cheeky little chuckles some listen to my lore
others, not so politely pretend not to snore
All too quick to set upon any misspoken gaff
The stories of the street are mine, the Spanish voices laugh

In my country youth we rode the roads on horse
Potential fertilizer the only cause for alarm
Yes there were the rich who had cars of course
But that was a life far from my sharecropper farm
Get through the toils of the day our driving force
But a bend of brutal winter came to pass
And my quiet country road became a bustling city street
With days filled of noise glaze the tons of people to meet
Fragrant airy fields gone as different scents amass
The Cadillacs go creeping now through the night and the poison gas

Not to say this city life did not have its good days
you’d note me as a liar if I told you so
It has been no bed of roses as the old folks say
But there are sweet things I’ve come to know
Oats have I sown in many ways
Yes, I’ve known my measure of passion’s throes
I’ve rented flats and owned several places
But with time and finances I’ve lost those spaces
My remaining sunset days spent in SROs
And I lean from my window sill in this old hotel I chose

Some concern fills my advancing years
As I outlive those who knew me well
The ones who get my sudden laughter and tears
Without a long explanation to tell
Only my Josie’s left to indent my fears
But even the end of her dog’s life draws nigh and so it goes
As I enjoy the lovely flower paid to entertain my night
I eye the bottle on dresser barely seen in the dim light
As I oscillate between my joys and my woes
Yes, one hand on my suicide, one hand on the rose.

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raivenne@theraivenne.com

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