Al Young title

LEEWAY | A Poem by Al Young

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lavender, antique clock and white candle via Knick of Time  © Angie Chávez

LEEWAY

“Consider me,
Descended also
From the
Mystery.”
— Langston Hughes

Time-weary, still, he feels safest winter nights

in the kitchen by the stove. At the back

of his too-studied brain, cave-dwellers groan.

No music, no texts, no ghosts at his side. Just

silence enough to let him listen to the Mystery

from which he’s descending. Few ever know;

fewer care. When the pull of phone calls dies

and paramedic fire truck sirens dial down,

he can boil eggs, toast bread, drizzle oil,

peel fruit and thank and see forever into

this moment that staggers, opening endlessly

here into now. Deeper than anything he can

remember, fiercer than any fictitious futures,

pure Mystery stops him cold with warmth.

—Al Young

© 2013

“Consider Me” by Langston Hughes was first published in 1951, the be-bop inflected period of his great “Montage of a Dream Deferred”. Copyright © 1994 by The Estate of Langston Hughes.

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