Thirteen Ways of Looking for Waldo

October 23, 2015 | 1 book mentioned 2 min read

Within a forest crowded
Of blackbirds, brown bears, red men, white,
Waldo is where?

There is no forest
Or no pages.
There is no book
Or no Waldo.

You, I and he climb to a hilltop
Watch the sun go light the fringe aflame
On a red white scarf. The wax he melts into
we roll in hand, make Waldo anew.

Bearded men in red;
Fat women in red;
Lionesses in red;
Trees in red;
Russian spy impostors: Democracy is a choice.

On the top tree branch of the tallest green pine in the deciduous forest
A man named Waldo squats naked cawing at the crows.

Waldo knows.
Knows he knows his mother.
He knows his pop.
Waldo knows he knows his sister
With the 18 hour 18 hour 18 hour bra bra bra.

She led a horse to water
But could not make him drink
So she led him to Waldo.

Twenty miles and
Three pages gone
From the forest
A surly sailor-type hauls a crate onto a ship at a bustling marina
Has Waldo tattooed in a heart on the hairy bicep of his right arm.

The trees are moist.
Waldo must be urinating.

You ask where is Waldo?
But Waldo is in the tree.
I ask who is Waldo?
And silence spreads over the forest.

It was Passover all breakfast.
We were eating bread
And we were going to stop.
Waldo should not have
Drank from Elijah’s cup.

When Waldo awoke
I walked the rim of his spectacles.
An embarrassing terror he shrieked.
His left thumb mangled me.

Into the woods I venture to say
I ventured one day.
For Waldo I searched.
I found Waldo perched
In a hammock stretched between two maple trees in the lower left corner of the 12th page.

With apologies to Wallace Stevens and Colum McCann.

Image Credit: Flickr/Si1very.

is a writer and editor working in politics in New York City. Her essays have most recently appeared in The Guardian and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter @JessieGrayGray.

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