It begins every morning —
I’m sitting at my desk trying to tap into inspiration
but really I’m just waiting for the tyre shop man to show up —
when he rolls a cigarette I might just roll one too
I notice like me that before anything else he drinks coffee
we’re neighbours I guess you could say
when he winds up the roller doors it’s like the first act of a play.
On the pavement on each side of him
the tyres are stacked up like black donuts
but when they spin in the wheel-alignment machine
they become the dark rings of invisible planets.
Does he know how intrigued I’ve become with these mysteries?
The tyre shop man bear-like in blue overalls
lumbers about in front of the tyre shop’s cavernous dark.
One day I’ll tell him that I too have struggled
to get words to align. To work out their balance
their weight. The true measure of their rhyme.
But later I watch as the sun subsides
through the gum trees in the park at the back of my flat —
all of a sudden so big that not even they can keep it held up.
A wild orb of redness tearing itself apart
ripped from its axle breaking open the branches.
A little while later like a wheel cut from crystal
the moon will lift out over the great emptiness and silence
of Eden Park’s huge stadiums. The other poem may or may not ever
be written but this is one for the tyre shop man — oh
stranger and neighbour. My accomplice
my mentor and my muse!
Sharpe, I. (Ed.). (2001, January 1). Best New Zealand Poems 2001. Retrieved from http://www.victoria.ac.nz/modernletters/bnzp/2001/home.html