Plan by James B. Nicola


James B. Nicola

I laid it on a lobby chair,
     Its day of service done,
The book that took me everywhere
     This week in Dublin town.

I’d torn and taped it time and again
     Along its ears and spine.
Today I fly at half-past-ten,
     As per my well made plan.

I’d frame its heart, the centerfold,
     Had I some empty wall,
Or file it under Ireland
     If my drawers and shelves weren’t full.

I spread the map a final time,
     Request an inch of tape,
Repair a crack along a seam,
     Refold it, with a wipe,

Then riffle through the tattered soul
     Of my trusted companion,
Unscruffle its ears, and start to recall. . . .
     But it’s 9:21.

So as with Yeats and Joyce and Swift
     And all of Dublin, passed
Through, or passed over, made short shrift
     Of or long, but left, at last,

I leave it—on the corner chair,
     With a grin of Celtic guile,
That another traveler note it there
     And carry it awhile.

About the Author

James B. Nicola’s poems have appeared recently in Lowestoft Chronicle, the Antioch, Southwest Review, Atlanta Review, Rattle, and Poetry East. His nonfiction book Playing the Audience won a Choice award. His two poetry collections, published by Word Poetry, are Manhattan Plaza (2014) and Stage to Page: Poems from the Theater (2016).