Friday, March 21, 2008

Ode to an Old Friend

I do not know from whence you came, or of your short-lived past
You searched for a way out in vain, your prison - walls of glass.
You did not find your way to freedom, water, and fresh air
Instead you lay upon my dash and drew your last breath there.

And when at last I noticed you, I was too lazy, far
Too dust you off, dispose of you (I never clean my car).
And so the days turned into months, and months to nigh a year
And always you accompanied me, a constant presence here.

Some days I thought of you as George, and other times as Gus
My withered mascot on the dash all covered up in dust.
I’d think of all your ancestors caught in an amber trap
Their fate much prettier than yours, preserved in golden sap.

Your death was not illustrious; your life, a fragile state
You flew in never knowing that the door would seal your fate.
But in a twist of irony your death preserved you, see?
For how many mosquitoes dwell a year in one’s memory?

We’d never have been friends if you had tried to suck my blood
I surely would have swatted you and washed you off at once
But since you suffocated and your needle ne’er took root
You got to keep me company each day on my commute

And then at last, on this spring day, it finally was time
To clean my car, inside and out, get rid of all the grime.
I did not take it lightly as I held the vacuum up,
And saw you, fragile mascot, disappear with just one suck.

And then my car was clean at last, at least for a small while
But when I looked to where you lay I quickly lost my smile
I know that I will miss your presence laying on my dash
So goodbye, George, goodbye sweet Gus, you’re gone for good – alas!