Claude

Claude falls
pacifier lost
pick me up, I can’t get up
he wails

 

Claude hides in closets
eavesdrops on friendships
discovered and banished
he wails

Claude runs away
seeks refuge in trees
talks to birds, dogs
found, punished
locked in room
he wails

 

Claude reads at night
tales of wonder
watches movies
he’s a chainwatcher
bound for Guiness
sleeps all day
school books torn
he wails

 

Claude is silent
hides in silence
for ten years
speaks in gestures
from behind locked doors
on pages torn from notebooks
he wails

 

Claude collects scraps of life
tiny scented handkerchiefs
socks, facecloths, underwear
hides them in his closet
sorts their fragrance
after midnight
into little piles
sniffs them like a fieldmouse

nose twitching
 

Claude smiles

only the birds believe him
when he stops wailing

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© Johnmichael Simon

2006

.