Sleight of Hand

Where is all the light-born music,
easing in with its mementos,
momentous at four and five

yesteryear’s vast, song-littered universe,
impossibly gigantic?

What used to stand here
solid glass of the magic store
behind half-parted curtains,
its swishing, galactic font sounding out
a cave of jiggling puzzle boxes,
cabin of daring comic book tricks
for uncanning laughter.
Delightful little alcove with your
middle-aged owner, whose face
proves as elusive as his top-hat,
worn or not, ever or never.

It’s like a prayer to Saturday mornings past,
more than a trick floating over
afternoons spent inhaling lemonade,
VCR tapes, chocolates and music cassettes:
all would reach
their inevitable, fizzing end.
Much like the worship of nostalgia.

The facades and frames still stand,
they must, replaced apace by the creep of day
after day. I leave them be, leave them intact.
Try as I might I remain subservient to
scents and sounds of youth, echo and promise.

If you tap lightly enough, with no one watching,
three times or maybe four,
you can still hear yesterday
come rippling back.

– 31 July 2016

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