Nesting Fragments: Then and Now

Jacob sat, or rather perched, upon a feeble, low brick wall,

His back towards the broken panes and hollow rooms

From whence he once had feared the cranes that lumbered overhead.

Those looming, cruel, skeletal frames had printed once their stern reproof

Upon that boy’s encumbered gaze.

*

Now, sitting there, his glances made a slow descent,

Sliding from the unhinged gate towards the pavement brink,

And out into the street.

*

There he saw what some did not not.

*

No Passing driver seemed to sense the faded stains beneath their tyres,

Or care enough to pause and say:

‘I once saw flowers here,

‘I once was told a tale about a city’s granite back

‘That left its weighty disregard upon a child’s lap.’

*

Jacob knew that story well, far too well in fact,

But sitting where he sat that night

He saw with dual-twisted sight,

And felt the evening stir.

*

Through the pallid twilight glow

And up from out the sullen ground,

A silver grain of mist emerged

To spread its shiny self about the shoulders of his world.

*

He saw, as if somehow removed, his younger self come trundling up,

Laces frayed, eyes confused,

To split that moment stark in two.

*

In one eye stood the honest stones,

Rose the stairways, slid the glares,

But through the other smudges poured –

Gutter-dwelling, fear-induced –

*

The Nesting that he used to know,

Was just a place from out his youth.

The Nesting that he now surveyed

Became his time-entangled truth.

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