Peter Chapman Poetry

the bamboozler

the softness around the eyes,
and the way his sweet mouth
flutters sometimes between
fate and accomplishments
tell you not to trust this one

his schemes are made
at night, when you dream
of being mislead and the things
you guard are most at risk

we are not here long
the future is everything,
constantly finding us, and all
is ephemeral, a thought i cherish

or we're here too long, and our
disguised shivering worry takes
a life of its own, like painters without
shoes or early runners, bringing news

a moment ago i was sitting in a train
station in Washington D.C., eating
noodles and reading the paper;
i didn't notice the woman sweeping
the floor until she began to laugh,
softly at first, surprised, then
louder when i saw what she was pointing to

a shoe had fallen from my bag and sat
on the bright tiled floor,
without a sock or step

look out the voices seemed to say:
it could all change now, with no more notice
and i took my smile back and stopped
what i was doing and waited
for the other shoe to drop