Dos Vidas. Photo by Thomas Kist from the 2006 Arjan Vlakveld film “Rod
McKuen: A Man Alone” for Netherlands Public Television. Photo ©2006,
2007 by Stanyan Audio Video Archives. All Rights Reserved.
A Thought for Today
Optimism is the forehead of beauty.
AN EVENT OF SOME IMPORTANCE
I started up the hill
and there they were.
One of them was hardly twenty,
the other maybe more.
They were still.
Dead I knew.
I slowed but didnt stop.
A cop was waving traffic past.
No ambulance had yet arrived
but two police cars kept a guard
on the coroners new dibs.
One bike was halfway up a wall
the front wheel still spinning.
The other, folded over like a half-left sandwich,
grew like sculpture in the middle of the road
and blossomed with the red of one of them.
I didnt know which one.
from further up the hill
I saw one cop strike up some flares.
Still no sirens in the distance.
Traffic now crawled up behind me
slowly till we hit Mulholland
and the other side.
Down below was Christmas
as it always is.
Perhaps a used-car lot
or another shop
with shiny motorcycles.
The evening paper
in the driveway once again.
I picked it up
before I parked the car.
I sat down with a cup of coffee
and wrote a poem on what its like
to miss a falling star.
Perhaps I should have made a wish
on one of many searchlights,
biting at the clouds.
More dependable than stars
- from "In Someones Shadow", 1969
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