A squirrel is furiously twitching its tail
for some reason, or so it seems, as the moon
draws up and lowers the oceans as if
they were its inexhaustible lovers.
Such precision and regularity must amaze
the clouds wrapped in their inconstancy.
We accept that the rose's bloom with its beauty
can draw blood with its thorns and that the sun's
life-giving glow can be a cancerous murderer.
We communicate with speed and distance
beyond the imagination of profoundest thinkers
of ancient Greece and Rome or wisest seers of the Orient,
but what message can we receive that a handshake
or a kiss has not already revealed? And yet the intellect
thinking itself ever nimble searches for something
more, always something more, because the twitching
never ceases for some unknown reason
or for some unknown unreason.
To me Cadillacs used to look different
from other cars, heftier, with solid
sounding doors when they clicked shut.
Their tires looked and smelled larger
with wide banded white walls.
Even the eye of the cigarette lighter had flair.
The sky and stars above wore a tuxedo
and evening gown sewn with diamonds.
Riding in a Cadillac with all that chrome
dazzled me looking through a thick windshield
where daffodils waved by the roadside
and irises the color of sky welcomed me home.
Father would shift into neutral
while I opened the garage doors.
And the car would glide in silent as a dream.
The world was aglow,
shining so bright it almost hurt my eyes.
The pink tongue of the cat
lapped at milk pure as snow,
back when snow was not irradiated
and clouds were white as clouds.
William Page's poetry has appeared widely in such journals as The Southern Review, The North American Review, Southwest Review, Nimrod, Wisconsin Review, The Midwest Quarterly, Kansas Quarterly, The Literary Review, Mississippi Review, Cimarron Review, The Chariton Review, Southern Poetry Review, South Carolina Review, Tar River Poetry, Ploughshares, The Pedestal, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and The Innisfree Poetry Journal, and in a number of anthologies. His third collection of poems, Bodies Not Our Own, received a Walter R. Smith Distinguished Book Award. His collection, William Page Greatest Hits 1970-2000 published by Pudding House Publications, is now available from Kattywompus Press. He is Founding Editor of The Pinch and a retired professor of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Memphis.