I could not see what he saw; but I saw him see
across the criss-cross checks and grids and patterned lattices of life
through glasses, darkly.
—A fragment, formulated forty years ago
and filed in the middens of my mind.
And in my mind it conjures up a vision
of the image that inspired it: a scattering
of people in a city street, shop-window-browsing.
A group, gathered around and gazing into
one window; but one young man half-turned
across the rest, looking with unfocussed eyes
into the distance down the street. I could not see
what he saw…
Inspired? Why should such a mundane scene
so briefly glimpsed, make my muse suggest
just three alliterative lines—at best
a semi-stanza—and then to cease? It seems
perverse—the more because the fellow
was not wearing glasses.