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Richard Fein

Cadman Plaza and my Ratty Coat

 

Rummaging for forgotten coins in the threadbare coat

that had been haunting the basement closet for twenty years,

I find a yellowed paper with a twice underlined caveat,

“Don’t forget meet at Cadman Plaza Dec 9 at 6 pm”

I convolute myself into the wormhole of my remembered past

but wind up an Ancient Mariner or Flying Dutchman

wandering through decades of disjointed recollections,

but never finding that Cadman Plaza out of all the Cadman Plazas swirling

in the space-time continuum of my memory.

Who I am now might well have hinged on whom I met or didn’t meet then.

If I did actually go to Cadman Plaza and made that connection,

then I’ve forever forgotten it.

And so, long ago, I made contact with a soul now faceless to me.

But what if I went there and waited but no one came

or if someone came and waited in vain for me—

I can spend the rest of my life trying to remember.

I might as well be wondering why was I ever born.

But I was born and am growing older and always will.

I find no coins, only that yellowed note.

I put it back in the pocket.

It’s time to throw my ratty coat away.

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