Phoenix Night – A Poem

Phoenix Night

Phoenix Night
the last one the band played
before they quit
and he
a veteran of cocktail fights
swollen glands
and fat hands
felt his chance was summoned
while courage took a vacation.

“Sleep with a fist in your mouth
while you are still young and quiet nights still shake you
to sleep
on summer nights
with the window open
the crickets asleep
and owls nesting
in fir trees.”

Where was it he heard
that from? Was it his dad?

He wonders what their names were
Jack, and Tom, Lynn and Stephanie?
and why he remembers
the name
even the tune
of a song
that he heard
years ago
but not the lyrics.

There is nothing left of him now
but spare tires in the driveway
to provide the illusion
of his ingenuity
and two photographs
on his dresser.
One has him at an Air Show as a child
open eyes and boyishly smiling
at an unknown person behind the camera.
The second at graduation
tall and vacant
squinting in the bright sun.

Phoenix Night
and he could have been reborn
blinding and new
creating and burning
away a life
that instead has crept


9 thoughts on “Phoenix Night – A Poem

    • Thanks Susan! That is what I was aiming for with it. A man who has a past that fades obscurely as he never took a chance to create memories that last so that al is left are bits and pieces slowly being forgotten themselves.

    • Thank you! You bring up an interesting question, and a side of the poem I did not even consider. Perhaps the Phoenix does lose all its memory before becoming extinguished, a slow consuming burn devouring all of its life before its rebirth.

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