Poem: Drawing Smaller Circles

Reflections on the ex-pat writer's life and what makes it all worth the while

Drawing Smaller Circles

Success doesn’t mean what it used to
and I can’t be John Grisham
or Mickey Spillane
But grateful as hell for Hemingway
that he’s analyzed in all those
Columbia Lit programs
and Prague isn’t the Paris
of the nineties

I’m running out of needs, not wants,
but empty tanked on neediness
and drawing smaller circles
The active verb is regress
and I had to look it up
to find it’s both verb and noun
Taking the time that’s left to unwind
too many years of winding

I’d like to travel some, but can’t bear
the thought of hotels,
room service and rental cars
Scheduled on Tuesday for the next
thin waiting destination
and looking at David
with a crowd,
moving out at closing time

Rather live there for a while or not
in long term rented rooms,
belonging to the streets
and watching, catching light
in unexpected angles of the sun
my back against a wall
smoking the cigarettes
my friends and loves all hate

Maybe walk an old dog
and laugh when he smells
new smells
Thinking I might smell them too
for the first time
in an old life
Catch a train somewhere
without a ticket back
and get to know the rails

Spend the afternoon to watch
an unknown farmer plow a field
with a horse
and know it was worth it
That he plowed that field only for me,
waiting out his life
for me to come and watch
And all the bells that ring in villages
were cast for just my ear

Haven’t found what I’m looking for
and might not even know
if we came face to face
So I don’t look for answers now
because there may be none,
perhaps should be none
All I find these days are questions
and need to ask them all
Poetry Collection: Broken Pieces
This poem is included in
Jim Freeman's
poetry collection
available here in print
or as an e-Book
in your favorite formats.