Arts & Leisure

‘Consolation’ – A poem by Gary Margolis


Don’t expect my friend Karl Lindholm
to be sitting next to you at the end
of a close basketball game.
The clock winding down

to red, double zeros.
Don’t be surprised if you find him,
across the gym, near the free
nosebleed seats, chatting and pacing

nonchalantly. As if it doesn’t matter
who wins, which it does.
As if a game’s all in good fun,
Which might be true, if it wasn’t

our team who’s playing.
Trying to win a W, beat
the brains out of a team
whose bus is starting to warm-up

in the parking lot.
If my mother were here,
she’d say my friend Karl
had “spilkes,” Yiddish

for antsy. Or “ants-in-your pants”
if she was speaking American
vernacular. She could have said
nervous or anxious, words

closer to how she felt saying
good-bye to me anytime
it was time for me to step
onto a bus. Wave behind

a window. Whether our love
was anything we lost or won.
Which is too much to be
thinking this afternoon

filing out after the game,
watching the players
below us, winners and losers
high-fiving each other.

While I’m wondering, I expect,
where in the world is our Waldo.
So we can find the right words
to console him.
— Gary Margolis, Cornwall

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