A Hollow Feeling By James Adamson

To Gwyneth with love
To the Glory of God


Neither hot nor cold and will be spit out
on that day I carried isolation and rejection
there was an ice storm the previous night into the day
I felt like a balloon with feeling only stretched out over my skin
I moved along the ice sliding over it in alternating steps
as if only it knew my feeling, only it sympathized
only it was my friend
yet every step wakes treacherous.
I was at the bank on Portage Avenue a block away from my place
an ambulance went by as if to arrest me for the insolence of continuing to live
the driver called out something and I don’t know what he said but he surly talked about me
the streets themselves were free of ice on the major thoroughfares
my head was like a Christmas ornament
it had a shape like a ball of fur
my heart slid like my feet
while everyone watched the spectacle of my life.
I did not pass by anyone on the sidewalk
beauty only spiked up here and there with evergreens
yet frozen leaves speckled the world
how bereft I was, was not yet known
the truth that set me free was frozen to the world
no verse would mean I was alone
to merely try made trying my pleasure
in time, the barren flesh of my self defense was to linger
like some nightmare alone in darkness on the highway
like some recent moment when a simple cat seems holy in his expression
telling me I am not loved
if an egg had a taut skin
if trees could be lungs
if fire were coal
if family were held for years in the grips of one gathering
and friends use all of their intelligence
if holiness is in honoring emptiness
then I will go to bed and wait for the morning
and wait to see again if I will take in a breath
so that my ribs will stretch and I can feel my flesh
so that hoping for a soul goes on.