Man With A Poodle Umbrella

Likely he found it just now

among her things which he’d been

meaning to give away.

Her pearlized beige umbrella

with a poodle on it.

 

Clearly it was hers

and he took it with him,

escorting it through this winter rain,

giving it, once more, his tweedy arm,

his lopsided support,

over slick-wet curbs and

churning puddles.

The iridescent plastic picks up

the light from the street lamps

and colors the air around

his face, lights up one

large hairy ear.

 

I’d rather think

that she handed it to him,

just now, as he left

on some reluctant errand —

hastily pushed it past

the screen door where he stood,

hunched, wet and impatient,

sandwiched in that limbo between

aluminum and wood,

eager now to get on with it (a list

in his pocket saying “Coffee,

Envelopes,

Mints.)

 

I’d like to imagine her impatient dismissal

of his objections: It’ll keep you

dry all the same, won’t it?”

and he’d saunter off — holding it

like an ice cream cone, grumbling

that if she’s so damn practical

why didn’t she choose a more

practical color? Black, for instance.

Or brown. I mean: a poodle?

 

I say I’d like to think that

she handed him her most

ready-to hand umbrella,

but, it’s so clearly antique

and just too fresh to have been

used all these years. So:

 

More likely

he found it.

Just now.

Amongst her things

that he really meant to give away.

And he took it with him

for company, remembering

her promise that it would keep

him dry

all the same.

(c) 2010 Catherine Weaver All rights reserved.


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