He’s a weatherman who sees tomorrow’s rain
And doesn’t think of an umbrella.
Weirdly aware he isn’t made of
Salt, he is unlike the rest of us
In that he doesn’t panic when it showers.
He’ll wrinkle a suit, won’t run for cover.
He is an old sailor. In northern gale or temperate westerly
The sea is the sea, as a child
Behaved or terrible is ever a mother’s child.
Like us, though, he gets caught in the rain
Without his umbrella. Unlike us
The merely incidental in hindsight, days later,
Torments him to remorse. We were only forgetful.
When it’s one of us instead of the rain
And he is caught off guard, he calls his own bluff
Saying “sorry” at least once into hollowness,
A half a teaspoon sweet, on the brink
Of unnerving you in his attempt to placate.
You hadn’t even minded being called “very natural.”
But now you start to. What might “very natural” mean
Now that he “didn’t mean exactly very natural”?
What did that mean?
He has a deep hobby (comic books
Or calculus) that resounds in his head
Throughout the day, confusing you
As drawn too simply, too intricately factored
Into a complex equation.
If you wondered
What he knew about you anyway
It would give him an edge
You could not acknowledge
Secretly in his likeness.
Michael Todd Steffen ( aka Mike Steffen) has recently been the featured guest for Chelsea Writers Cafe together with Irene Koronas. He has read multiple poems from his book Partner, Orchard and Day Moon that was published by Cervena Barva Press. His poems and articles have been published in many literary reviews in the United States and abroad. He has spent ten years living and teaching in France and England, an experience that has enriched his creativity. He was awarded the Somerville Newswriters’ Festival Poetry prize.