Member Rara Avis
(Posted by request)
We crossed the I 75 and journeyed
over bridges, around and past
beaten buildings, searching
for the right way, past ugly towers.
Both lost in an unfamiliar place, we laughed,
discovering our visuality - the way
our faces moved and hands talked,
the car huge yet crowded with us.
You have a fragility I didnít see until
it released through your eyes - those kind things -
your delicacy unshuttered as you self-conciously
removed your hat, ran a hand through your hair.
You were embarrassed our time was
below my expectation, worried it was not
enough. What do animals think about, you said
and felt foolish, but I felt the warmth
of your shoulder against mine while
we walked, smiling at the sparity
of wire cages, relating memories
and events in places foreign to the other.
Then you ached in that moment
I canít quite recall, and the tyres
drove us away, past the concrete,
past the trees warmly reciting winter.
You wanted me to read poetry in that bookstore
where I found ĎThe Bridges of Madison County,í
ironically. Too shy, I declined, and you bought
my favourite collection, just because it was.
I ache now, silent of you, shocked
that you are such. Before going out I stared
at watered pools made green by dye, and at a train,
whose music had ceased on the track
for some undelivered reason. When I
came back it had gone, but the
thought of you remained; My emptiness
a reminder of the flight
awaiting. Iíll fly back over the Grand
Canyon, over snow, and long roads so straight
I could measure the distance of continents.
Iíll arrive in L.A. and ascend to clouds
again. The roads will smell of heat, tar,
and haunted by you and this wintered
America, Iíll remember crows, and
jeeps and your Southern tones.
Monday came, and ice on the road,
hope. We compared the tremors of
our hands, I thought of trains and passage,
your arms - like peace - around me.
You will not rob my life, you said,
and we cried. The tears of truth faded
the course of rain from the windows, as we
sat above the dam, facing separation,
knowing there was nothing simple contained
within the sacrifice. My twenty five years and yours
of forty cannot align, yet you gave me stars
and understanding - this green moon will remember.
For you Jamie, my dear envisioner of a starred heaven, in honour of the 12th, and thanks for giving me the words for the longest poem I've ever been able to write...
© K.Mahony 2001
...and I have found that a lifetime can be lived in one moment...