Poetry by Charles Joseph

What was best

Sounds can do a lot to the mind.
having resided in the city for so long, i don’t know
what familiarity bird chirps bring me

my memory transports me to days on the countryside
Grandpa’s house padded with a front yard, a back yard
a yard on the side that extends, then extends to a garden
a wooden port-a-potty that, back then, it was normal
but with age; who i’ve met; where i’ve lived
i twist my face and wonder who would.
The garden extends, then extends to a forest
but by then all the kids will lose interest
the sun’s going down. We know what’s best.

Breakfast on the front porch, orange juice grown in the yard
the chair hanging unsteadily, balancing on two back legs
legs hanging; pulsing with fear and hesitation
we know what’s best.
So a nervous hand would find reassurance somewhere stable
but that is how we had to sit on the chair
it’s what was not allowed—dangerous; dezòd

that was the only way for sunlight to filter through the leaves to rest on my face
that was the only way to take in the countryside
natural sunlight with distant Sounds echoing on rocky streets

a chair, somewhere, rocking on two back legs
gazing at the clear blue sky patched by leaves and branches
a bird leaps in flight; birds erupt under the sky
leaving behind chirpings that decorate the town, a reminder

that was the only way. Morality and Logic never contested.

Now, in the big city, i still hear the familiar bird Sounds
but as that life becomes more estranged, the memories slip through my fingers.
Maybe the chair, somewhere, finally fell
we then got scolded with what was best
i ask myself, “who am I?”
lean back to look up; skyscrapers blocking the sky.

I wrote this poem while looking at two red cardinals flying around a tree right outside my window 🙂 I could reach out and pet their feathers if they stayed steady ✨

6 responses to “What was best”

  1. You transported me back to my grandparents house yeah, after they were kicked out of their home in the city to live the new developing zone. City folks learning how to live on the land.. My memories are generally lots of fun, but, thinking back, it must have been a huge culture shock.. Thank you for the memories yeah..

    1. I’m sure it was a big culture shock for them for sure. I’m humbled to know that the poem did what I intended for it to do—send you on a trip back to that time

  2. […] Read my other piece about leaving Haiti here. […]

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