Nel mezzo del cammin what one finds is beans
and wrinkled cabbage and an awful case
of ambling vacuity, an affliction resembling

walking pneumonia, but worse in its long-winded
and peevish consequences, so one shuffles and pokes
through jars of ointment and old hockey pucks

tucked away in the armoire to find just exactly
the right sort of eyewash or what is left
of one’s former and nobly galloping convictions,

but what one discovers, among the stoppered monuments
to ancient prostrations, is a b-flat clarinet
and a parched umbrella, so one decides