Jack of Hearts

It was September then
and my friend Jack was in rare form.
“This is a fire drill!” he said,
“The world is nothing but a fire drill.”
If you saw Jack you wouldn’t think
of him as I do—you wouldn’t think of him at all.
I was on the Island
and Jack, Jack was where he was supposed to be.
I don’t know—maybe it was a hill, a mountain.
Maybe Jack was the mountain man hiding in the woods.
But maybe there was no hill, no coast.
Maybe Jack fought hard, fought on.
Maybe he lost
or is lost—if Jack’s lost his way
I wouldn’t know where to find him.
Maybe it was roses—the big bouquet
I gave to a woman I never knew or wanted to know—
petals dropping from the arbor
that meant nothing.
I have friends now, I think
I know these people, I think
we might drink beer downtown.
Sometimes I think we could catch a ballgame,
sometimes I think of Jack.

© 1996 Wayne Pitcher

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