As If—

16 Jan

Ann is Ann Sexton, her poem, “Rowing toward God”

Occasioned by Neva’s Covid positive.

As if 

Why must it always be faith?

Why do you pose

masked as 

the great As If

Ann called you a card sharp

played your game and rowed away

as if it is a game

as if the rowing is real

Your game for me plays out

locked in your embrace

more dance 

than journey 

held fast and tricked

at once

you’re always changing steps

I do not follow

but am drawn

along the way 

you’ve chosen

I’m free you say 

the dance does not feel free—

free to call it dance

not mindless crapshoot

or aimless lurch

I’d rather say

it’s empathy—

for the steps

for the others




it’s not a dervish 

move symmetrical

graceful spinning

reaching out

to where you are

not predictable order

as marks the minuet

this is no square dance

caller shouting out

 “bow to your partner”

and “time for do-si-do”

more a blind

stomp and stumble—

as if it really is a dance

as if the dance is yours

(c) Phil Hefner 1/14/2022

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