Remembrance

by Luke Otley

Reminded of steaming windows
one inch rolled out, battery roulette,
and music, always music
that reminded us of places
where we weren’t
and couldn’t be.

How different things are now
looking back.
My Dad asks why I don’t write poems anymore
and to that I say
I no longer have anything to fear.

Last night half way down a paragraph
where I read eagerly of Louisiana sun and tumbleweed,
Houston, Texas, eggnog and peach ice cream,
I remembered
a night not six months ago
where I alone drove my wagon purring
down South Beach Fremantle,
looking for two friends from France,
two buoys in a dark, dark sea.

And I heard only the lapping of summer surf
as a man grasped at my door handle,
as I froze
and waited
and waited.
Someone yelled out
and he turned
head shaved, white, at six feet
tall, drunk and dangerous;
he pounded on my window
like a baboon;
I was ill equipped,
I prayed it did not break. No, I did not pray,
but I willed it so.

It’s different when you’re safe
and stuffed with whiskey and kindness.
You forget your rough edges
but you keep your quietness.