Mr Tran



Oh Mr Tran stop taunting us
with your legs that pose a fine Irish jig, frozen in time.
Dainty, dainty, decorously sword-dancing, suspended perilously
above a discarded cigarette packet
and your cane, Mr Tran, knotted and ridged –
weapon of choice of a time-fighter
leaned ready to strike when the clarion call comes, Mr Tran,
when the call comes for you.
It will come, won’t it?
You perch there, Mr Tran, buried in the sackcloth and folds passion
of a thrift-shop coat triumph of convenience over fashion.
It ill-fits you Mr Tran, can you not see? Does it not BOTHER you?
The first owner had more beef to him Mr Tran, more bulk of good
things eaten too well and he never had to scroll up the cuffs.
But then he never stooped against a knotted cane, Mr Tran,
nor did he peer quite so close at the headlines of yesterday’s hastily
reassembled newspaper which he did not have to hunt
fluttering along the streets
amongst the wrappings of candy-treats, Mr Tran,
he just pitched it into the trash can
ready for the wind to pull it out, sheet by sheet for you.
He has not yet had his careless plans come to…nought,
or see blue-sky ideas get drowned behind the gathering rainclouds
of the winter of his life, Mr Tran.
I’ll bet he whistles as he showers, not a bad..thought
entering his fully-crowned head on his unbowed, undowned
shoulders. No arthritic back for him Mr Tran.
No uncorrected vision, squinting at what the world
has become.
He wears tailored blue shirts and has a magical phone
which can display the weather in seventeen different languages,
only one of which he can read.
Blue shirts, Mr Tran, neat.
SEVENTEEN DIFFERENT languages, Mr Tran.
He has a future. He is going to BE somebody.
He is going to change the world, Mr Tran.
He is never going to sit with deck-shoes
hanging from Irish jig legs.
He is never going to be a nobody, Mr Tran.
Or is it the other way around?

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