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Posts Tagged ‘time’

 

 

 

It took five days, but at last I thought of you, old friend,

friend I loved and wanted to trust, friend

 

who burned every bridge I tried to build between us,

who turned gratitude and apology to smoke, to ash,

 

who taught me that love is not enough—a lesson

I never wanted to learn, which is why I am grateful

 

you helped me to learn it.

No one gets through life without injury.

 

Still, I wanted to believe that a kiss and forgiveness

could make things better, but some things

 

are better left broken. Thank you for teaching me

that all passes, that even without a road, without

 

a bridge, without a track, the train of time

finds a way to keep moving, eventually

 

speeding by so fast that what seemed

unable to be overcome becomes a blur

 

and that hope gives way to something even

more beautiful: saying yes to what is real.

 

So though you will never know it, I forgive you

for your scissored words and sharpened

 

silences. I forgive you for giving up on love,

for saying no, goodbye. It takes almost no effort now.

 

Even uranium has a half-life—albeit 4.5 billion years.

How much sooner forgiveness has come. More like a lawn

 

that went unwatered and dried to brown, to dust,

but then when seasonal rains returned, turned green.

 

Yes, thriving and lush, here is the new lay of the land,

ready for anyone to arrive. Anyone. Even you.

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Enjoy yourself. It’s later than you think.

            —Socrates

 

 

And so Socrates says, Enjoy yourself,

and I tattoo those two words

into my thoughts, but then, no matter

what the clock says, no matter

what the mirror says, no matter

what Socrates says, I tell myself,

I am right on time.

Like the moon, which this morning

still hangs in the west as the sky

all around it turns red.

The moon isn’t late, isn’t early,

isn’t anything but the moon doing

what the moon does. Do that,

I tell myself, staring at its light

as it drops through the rear view mirror,

at the same time keeping my eyes on the road.

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One Forever

 

still winging in the field

that snow angel that melted

years ago

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taking the calendar

from the wall, the days

grow feet and run away

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And again I recall how small we are,

how ninety nine percent of all species

that have ever lived are extinct,

how thin our stripe in geologic time,

how remarkable that we are here at all.

And suddenly all that matters

is that I love you—and what are the odds?

How many billion years in the making,

this rush of gratitude, this burgeoning

joy, this thrill in the sheer Cenozoic luck

to feel the concurrent burning and quenching,

the simultaneous bite and salve, the Quaternary

gift of thriving and failing at the same time?

If it feels as if it’s taken forever to get to this place,

lover, it has. Think trilobite. T-rex. Cave bear.

Wooly mammoth. Think how little time

has passed, and how lucky, how lucky we are.

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Reconciliation

 

 

We are all walking each other home.

—Ram Dass

 

 

There was that moment before

I read the letter, when you

were still invincible, that moment

when just seeing your name

made me think of sitting at your table

drinking wine, eating fresh tomato soup,

and my heart rose up like a good little dog

and begged me to read the news.

And then there was the moment

when I read the news. And read it again.

And let my eyes unfocus on the words

as I felt their terrible weight

settle in my chest, on my cheeks.

How soon the mind leans toward the worst.

It is hard to reconcile the two moments

together, side by side as they were,

the one so exuberant, the other

so grim. I try to imagine them

holding hands as if to steady the other.

As if they need somehow to be close,

fear and hope. If you feel a hand

slip into yours and no one is there,

perhaps it is mine, reaching

toward you through a letter

I will always be writing, the letter

of how beautiful it is to be alive

in this world so we can

shoulder together what frightens us most.

How beautiful it is to be alive

so that even in our most lumbered days

we might meet each other, hands open,

and steady the other, walking home.

 

 

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One Time Warp

 

 

 

leaning into a wind

from twenty years ago—

still tugging tears from my eyes

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Going Forty

 

 

 

these longer days,

still not enough time

to notice how beautiful

the cottonwood

rimed in white

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A response of sorts to Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18

 

 

Not that I wasn’t fond of it—the blues

and golds and thick brush strokes—perhaps it was

because I was so fond of it I threw

the art away, that life-size portrait of

eternal summer, mine, the painting in

which one hand reaches for the sun, the other

grows dark roots into the earth. Now all

that lives of those bright lines are these two hands

that painted them. With something less than care

I rolled the canvas tight and took it to

the trash, the company of grapefruit rinds

and last year’s mail. By tea, I’ve gotten used

to how the wall looks—empty, open, free—

already dreamed what else these hands might do.

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One Blink

 

 

 

distracted by dishes

and shoveling and paperwork

I fail to notice

my son

has grown two inches

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