Of Wings and Cold

June 3, 2009

Is it cold Holden?
It was cold the night Old Stradlater borrowed your camel hair coat
But he didn’t wear it much that night, at least not if he was up to what you think he was
Or maybe he did, and you’re wrong
So either he didn’t stretch the shoulders, or he didn’t stretch Jane’s limits

It was cold the night you ran away from Pencey
With no gloves
And you were cold, or at least you tried to be
When you left Sunny cold in your room
Annoyed and short changed
It was cold when you ran away from Mr. Antolini, leaving behind your couch-be and tie

And you must have been coldest beside all of them
Sally, Sunny, Lillian, The three middle aged gals, The ghost of Jane
Because you want it to mean something, except you want to get it over with too

But the coldest places of all
Are the empty, cold words they say
Those phonies who say you need school
Or status
Or sex
Or something other than what you are
To be a real person
What drafty places their heads must be

I know about the cold Holden
Because the cabbie was wrong, I don’t stay there
With the cold
Living it out like the fish do
I fly away to where it’s warm, where weather and words can’t touch me
But you don’t have wings Holden, you can’t fly away
Don’t despair though, because although I fly away
I too, much always come back

The author's comments:
This is a poem commenting on the events of Cathcher in the Rye. It is directly written to Holden through the voice of one of the ducks from the frozen pond in the park.

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