January Blues

January Blues

For arithmetic, he wore the dunce cap,
the bell hat of the fool.
Algebraic equations
worked on him worse than winter
on his bent backed way home from school,
his feet like icy shells in his shoes.
Nobody needed to tell him about January blues.

The sniper on the rooftop
only waits for his time,
expects to get away
after he commits his lonely crime.
Later, in his hide out,
he coldly hears about it on the news,
his brain numb, too vacant to succumb
to January blues.

Snow falls on snow ploughs,
carving slow down motorways,
so cold it stings the eyes,
the kind that falls and stays.
Drivers complain about stiff window wipers.
Frozen below zero wind whips
to challenge and confuse.
Blighted by blizzards,
daunted but not defeated,
they vow to motor on,
despite January blues.

So many white moons,
so many yellow suns,
so many waves
have passed over the water,
and still no one comes,
sings the piano player,
his tune bare as the trees.
Cold coins in his pockets,
he feels a chill in his knees.
Don’t try to understand other minds,
he warns, for some of them,
at the merest hint of sunshine,
pull down the blinds.
He continues to play
for those who feel low and lonely,
dreams about performing
on a long summer cruise,
helps him to cope with January blues.

The gambler in the casino
watches the dice on the wheel,
his spine like a stalactite,
wonders what his cards conceal.
You have the option of not trying to win,
so you don’t have to lose,
when you give in to January blues.

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