Lost Poem
by Tzivia Gover
 
I write in pastel chalk
on sidewalks, on the shore
on the pier where crowds watch
sunset blaze the water orange, 
then pink. I write poems on the borders 
of everything, between land and sea 
and day and night. On the shoulder of the highway, 
I squat writing stanzas beneath the feet
of shoppers haggling at the market.
I compose lines on asphalt while a man
argues with his son above my head.
In a flurry of inspiration I describe the wind’s voice.
It’s possible I’m falling into cliché -- I write anyway.
Old newspaper pages rustle past and the rain begins.
The rain will wash my stanzas out. Yes, you say, you
are sure of it. You are probably right. Still,
I search on hands and knees, crawl between
fast-moving ankles. People shake their heads
high above me, like trees tossing their leaves,
tsk-tsking at the love of a lost cause -- 
even as I discover one unharmed stanza,
sheltered beneath a picnic table,
and another, on the highway, just before
it slides into the storm drain. I search
pier and stadium, the market, the edges
of everything. I search my memory,
this moment, recover what I can.
But this road, leading out of town
has become a river now with all this rain.
And it’s a shame because my best, my final, my
most amazing stanza was written there.
And while you and the rest of the world
retreat to watch TV, complain that I distract you,
am making too much noise, looking foolish
on my knees, I follow the yellow line 
down the center of the road, looking
looking
my lost words
they had something to do with joy
something about tomorrow and healing
and something else worth saying.