19 August 2012
Sunday Sonnet: Charles Descending a Staircase
Sunday morning. The elevator is not functioning. There’s a punctual man on the landing. With both of his frail hands on one railing, he begins to descend the long staircase. Sliding hand to hand but not crossing them, and foot to foot before dropping one daringly over the edge of each box step. Charles in crimson slippers, with dancer’s hands on diagonal barre, our very own Nureyev at ninety-four. The pall bearers pass the casket into the idling hearse, the long mahogany handles smoothly through their white-gloved hands. But that’s another mourning, another landing. ------ In spite of the power outage, Charles was determined to get to the church service on the first floor - and he was determined to get there on time.