Sylvia Byrne Pollack

Vagrant Waltz
For Yaffa

It’s time in mid-summer
to think about nothing,
turn from ideas,
make ice cream instead,
float on a raft of popsicle sticks.

You will know when to get up,
wield pencils like chopsticks,
tease apart vagabond thoughts
meandering through your mind.

When bedraggled ideas knock
at your door, don’t turn them
away. Like your mother before you
give handouts to hoboes –

a sketch of a cat will be
etched on your gate.
Words will come tramping
into your dreams, vamp
your domesticated mind

with rumbles, a jungle
utterly outside your safe picket fence.


“Vagrant Walz” previously appeared in Shark Reef.

Sylvia Byrne Pollack retired from careers in cancer research and mental health counseling but remains on “active duty” as a poet and grandmother. She lives and writes in Seattle. Her recent poems have appeared in Hobble Creek Review, in Drash: Northwest Mosaic and are forthcoming in Solo Novo.