David J. Kelly : Shifting Sands

(With apologies to Hughes Mearns)


Yesterday, upon the stair,
and not just hanging in thin air,
I saw a man, well, I say a man,
it clearly wasn’t Peter Pan
(and not one of the fairer sex . . .
a bearded chap with half-moon specs).

So yesterday, or Wednesday last  . . .
I’m certain Tuesday must’ve passed . . .
perhaps it’s simpler if I say,
“At a point before today;
a gentleman I couldn’t place
struck me with his open face.”

He caught my eye and held my gaze
(it felt like I was there for days);
complexities abound, I fear,
but now the details aren’t so clear.
He was on a level over mine
(that’s quite a reassuring sign)  . . .

I didn’t meet him on the flat
(he won’t have been as tall as that),
but if he were upon a flight
he would have gained some extra height.
So I think I’m sure when I declare,
“I saw a man upon the stair.”

Who was that man? Well, don’t ask me,
I’ve got an awful memory.