You Are The Old Man In The Blue House
after Bertrand M Patenaude
Making impossible promises to yourself.
Outdoors the cactus, the wolves.
The hour of nowhere else to go.
It’s a decade since the new god stamped
your passport ‘invalid’.
Your fifty-ninth birthday is candied plums
and two small orchestras.
Out there your friends welcome
bullets in the back of the head.
An August storm batters the porch
with the Chief Prosecutor’s words:
Down with the vulture, these miserable hybrids
of foxes and pigs!
In your hand
the pistol with not enough ammunition.
You wait for you know not who
to hug your skull and whisper.
“Everything is finished”;
indulge in just one more
promise that won’t come true over
the candied plums and two small orchestras
in the hour of nowhere else to go.
The poem has also been translated into Spanish and the translation published in the online Mexican literary magazine Cuadrivio.
Today is the 74th anniversary of the murder in Mexico City, by an agent of Soviet Military Intelligence, of the exiled co-organiser of the Russian Revolution.