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James Tate - Days of Pie and Coffee

A motorist once said to me, 
and this was in the country, 
on a county lane, a motorist 
slowed his vehicle as I was 
walking my dear old collie,
Sithney, by the side of the road, 
and the motorist came to a halt 
mildly alarming both Sithney and myself, 
not yet accustomed to automobiles, 
and this particular motorist 
sent a little spasm of fright up our spines, 
which in turn panicked the driver a bit 
and it seemed as if we were off to a bad start, 
and that's when Sithney began to bark 
and the man could not be heard, that is, 
if he was speaking or trying to speak 
because I was commanding Sithnewy to be silent, 
though, indeed I was sympathetic 
to his emotional excitement.
It was, as I recall, a day of prodigious beauty. 
April 21, 1932--clouds
like the inside of your head explained. 
Bluebirds, too numerous to mention. 
The clover calling you by name.
And fields oozing green.
And this motorist from nowhere 
moving his lips
like the wings of a butterfly 
and nothing coming out, 
and Sithney silent now. 
He was no longer looking at us, 
but straight ahead 
where his election was in doubt.
"That's a fine dog," he said.
"Collies are made in heaven."
Well, if I were a voting man I'd vote for you, I said.
"A bedoozling day to be lost in the country, I say.
Leastways, I am a misplaced individual."
We introduced ourselves
and swapped a few stories.
He was a veteran and a salesmen
who didn't believe in his product--
I've forgotten what it was--hair restorer,
parrot feed--and he enjoyed nothing more
then a a day spent meandering the back roads 
in his jalopy. I gave him directions 
to the Denton farm, but I doubt 
that he followed them, he didn't 
seem to be listening, and it was getting late 
and Sithney had an idea of his own 
and I don't know why I am remembering this now, 
just that he summed himself up by saying 
"I've missed too many boats" 
and all these years later
I keep thinking that was a man 
who loved to miss boats,
but he didn't miss them that much.

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Added: Feb 7 2004 | Viewed: 11101 times | Comments and analysis of Days of Pie and Coffee by James Tate Comments (8)

Days of Pie and Coffee - Comments and Information

Poet: James Tate
Poem: Days of Pie and Coffee
Poem of the Day: Jan 19 2005

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