Patrick Walsh | Scene4 Magazine

Patrick Walsh

Along the Empire State's observation deck

Stand mercenary eyes, not the gun-blue ones

I had hoped to look out through as a child,

But telescopes that work for change.

At my age I can afford to waste my dimes —

Besides, it will soon be that rich beyond

Need of riches, having gone in time

From toothless to toothless: I am old

And must trade this climb to gain the plateau.


But the gusting bees of March up Fifth

Mean ides and anniversary,

Another year above earth and any minute now

It could be my birthday, so before I go,

I thought I'd celebrate somehow

The afternoon — its gold and icy light, the green

That's yet to come — with some altitude

And the view that's had from eighty-six

Floors above midtown traffic.


My pan across the gray-glinting river

Brings me to Queens where I was born.

(My time is running out. I buy some more.)

There's her first defiant tower glowing aqua

In the sun. And someone on the shore

Is waving at a tug. No, it can't be that,

With not a furrow to be seen — he's looking up

Towards me, a little blond-haired boy.

(This motor's whir sounds like a wind-up toy.)


The Manhattan skyline is its own parade

And though it feels like the kid's fixed me in his sights,

His gaze must be walking that width.

From this height, I can make out his freckled face,

The rascal-shy grin — I looked a lot like him.

(There must be a coin in one of these pockets.)

I had imagined him regarding this windowed peak

As a rocket ship bound for another planet

When the shutter gave me black despite my bit.

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Patrick Walsh | Scene4 Magazine

Patrick Walsh is a writer and poet.
He writes a monthly column and is a Senior Writer for Scene4. For more of his columns and other writings, check the Archives.

©2021 Patrick Walsh
©2021 Publication Scene4 Magazine




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