from Eleven Clues

Robert Kendall


None of the arguments would work properly,
but that in itself meant nothing.
We pushed on with our intentions immaculate,
our lives in the right place.
Then the morals came loose and clattered
onto the primrose pavement.
That raised a few eyebrows, but
we held our tongues and braced for a high-speed
longing down the visceral back routes.
When the pathos failed to move,
we started to get nervous.
There was nothing left to do
but release the wild guesses and hope
they didn't turn on us.

I tremble to think how close we must have come.
A mere choice away from the A or B of no return.
Right there before us a mortally asked question (select one):
1. prepared for that great big yes or no in the sky
2. raised itself to its full height and demanded a cut of the answer
3. admitted complicity in the wrongfully committed replies
We tried to grasp it by:
4. none of the above (except where required by State or Local Intuitions)
But it was really just too tough for us.

If only we could stall awhile.
Time will tell, we told ourselves, but finally,
time had to make a run for it.
By a miracle we made it back with our outcomes intact--
or so we thought.
There must have been an inkling
that touched our lives in their private parts,
because our innocence has never been the same.
But whatever it is we've lived by since then,
our lives aren't letting on.

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The 2River View, 2_1 (Fall 1997)