We Talk

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We talk about the way you build wooden boats with your hands,
and the way the sun shines off the water when we canoe across the lake.
And we talk about the snow in the winter and the way the snowflakes fall in the quiet.
We talk about the way that you rode an elephant in Thailand along the side of a cliff,
and the elephant put one foot in front of the other so he kept on the trail,
and the way I went dogsledding in Alaska, felt the dogs pull and heard the trees whisper blue.
We talk about the summers of sun, sand and waves, and how we grew with salt water in our veins. And we talk of our smiles and our failures and the lessons we learned, tomorrow’s plans
and time that we hold in the palm of our hands. We talk until the coffee grows cold and the night grows wings, until the words have words no more, but our eyes keep talking.
We don’t talk about your aneurysm that might kill you tonight, or tomorrow, and we don’t talk about my brain tumor that’s growing as we speak.
We don’t talk about it.

Two Squares and a Circle

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What ghosts follow when you track

back so far?  Stone foundations,

full of your words, crumble and roll,

and the pine pieces, marked by knots

of pain and despair, age away in

forgetfulness.  Is this a blessing,

when the holes appear, let light and cold

pass, allow locked in grievances to leave?

Or does it all remain anyway, underneath

the rusted metal roof – the hurts

that can’t be released, circling around

the structure as time takes it down?

There’s still a place to let it go –

two squares and a circle.

 

 

We Were So 19

We were so 19

that the world didn’t care if we slept

half the day, went to coffee with the professor

instead of class, and began the evening

just before midnight.  The usual crowd

could be counted on to greet us warmly,

as we scrambled off the city sidewalks

swallowed by our college life.  Beer, and

conversation, and the same familiar songs,

and we hugged and laughed and knew

19 would always be.  But it’s not.

Someone else is borrowing 19 now. 

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