I Know A Few Things
Old bells wake me up At ten, then the wing snaps Of pigeons skirting the courtyard Bring me to the window, Where the young cosmeticians In their very clean outfits On break check their phones And smoke and laugh among Their number and roll Their beautiful made-up Eyes at me when from above I wish all three of them A good day, then one flicks An ash and blinks twice, Another takes a deep drag, And the third continues To answer the message Her father sent from home, Concerning the death Of the family cow, So white and brown.
About this Poem
"No matter how late I stay up, I always feel guilty sleeping in, even if it’s only until ten. The old bells are those of the church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, some of the oldest in the world, or maybe they are the ringtone of one of the cosmetician’s phones. In a gallery, I once heard a woman from the UK tell her friend she should call her, give her 'a bell' sometime soon."
Stuart Dischell is the author of Backwards Days (Penguin, 2007), Dig Safe (Penguin, 2003), Evenings & Avenues (Penguin, 1996), and Good Hope Road (Viking, 1993), winner of the National Poetry Series.
Date Published: 2014-01-13
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/i-know-few-things