I did not lead my life
although my life followed me,

not in lockstep or formed flight
but in the second line,

calling me new names,
Mr. Danke Schoen,

Dr. I’m Sure It’s Nothing.
A parade of sorts

because isn’t life
just one person after another,

a whispering campaign
of family sayings:

“At the top of the mountain,
keep climbing,”

and “Thunder’s the promise,
fulfillment’s the rain.”

Behind me, red-headed girls from Chelsea
whose collars match their cuffs,

a trip to Itchycoo Park,
and the cats Mirabelle and Edward

who wake me at dawn
though both are dead.

Yes, it rained
but there were not a lot

of tears, only a very large one
breaking over everything.

Dogs barked but the parade
went on, and a life followed me

though I did not lead my life.

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