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POEM: The Danger Of Black And White

The Danger Of Black And White

Jean Arthur and Cary Grant are in
an unnamed South American country.
She’s a piano player who just stopped by
on her way somewhere else.
He’s flying the mail over the Andes
with a misfit crew of pilots.
I am back in your parents’ kitchen,
where movies like this were always playing
on a wall-mounted TV.
Your dad would be looking through the paper,
making jokes about the headlines
or pointing out sales.
Your mom would be scrolling on her laptop.
In the early days your grandfather
might be at one end of the table,
a cup of coffee near to hand.
You and I would find our seats,
joining the conversation or having our own,
exchanging glances or a little touch
as one of us got up to put the kettle on.
Meanwhile Cary Grant or Jean Arthur or
Jimmy Stewart or Audrey Hepburn
would be in the middle of a melodrama
or a screwball comedy, and every once
in a while one of us would look up at the TV
and see some character actor
and try to remember
where we’d seen them before.
The others would chime in until we figured it out
or until we had to resort to the internet.
Then the kettle would click off,
the water would get poured,
and a comfortable silence would descend
for a few minutes.

/ / /

17 January 2023
State College PA

Published in Movies My poems Poetry


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