Two Poems by William Corbett

by William Corbett

photography Daniel Area Wakahisa

Issue X

I Was Thirty
I was thirty
I wore a suit
Left over from college
I stood to deliver
Gordon Cairnie’s eulogy
Harvard’s Memorial Chapel
The Canadian flag over his coffin
He had fought at Vimy Ridge.
A man calls
Plans to write a book about Gordon
Unlocks the chest
Who will care 
That someone stole the guestbook
At Gordon’s funeral
And that I know who did it?
Gordon came home
From the store that July
Afternoon forty years ago
Sat in his chair
And died there upright
A man who loved poets
The devotion he discovered 
Over forty-three years 
Running his Grolier Bookshop.
I write this remembering
Tears falling on the keys. 

On a Benn Theme
I get around
Boston, still,
Up to the erasures
As if I never looked into
The mirror and shaved
At 9 Columbus Square.
I get around,
Newly, in Brooklyn
Down the blocks where 
Hair is an industry,
And I get to my first city, 
The parents shopped for mink
letting me free to find
A Nigel Molesworth book.
The scared thrill 
Of that two block walk
Jolts me today as I step,
Arm raised, to hail
A hum colored cab. 
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