A Poem & A Picture (On Meeting Robert Hayden in a Dream)

On Meeting Robert Hayden in a Dream

by Abdul Ali

Winter Daybreak

here among them   the dead   the others   the aliens

I see you without    coke bottle glasses   a wavy comb over

your nose buried inside a notebook  over-

 

flowing with strange sightings   men and women

without a homeland   a library to shelve histories

dreams   the names of rare flowers  fruits  baby names

 

exiled from their villages   learning to say hello

with accents thick   with nostalgia   for their purple planets

here UFO sightings aren’t so spectacular

 

border crossing is quintessentially american  universal

crowds gather in squalid ghettoes where every country is a city

every city is a verse  & every verse echoes “Those Winter Sundays”

 

where a New World opens up where all the martians are welcome

at the writing table with their fountain pens & swollen digits & you

 

whispering

 

what took so long?

What do ya think about that?

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