a frigid day, a diamond day,
a leaden time of lifeless gray.
a grinding year, a year like stone,
abrasive, hard, revealing bone.
it stymied me, it stifled me,
it ended things, some utterly.
a final sun sinks hard and cold,
and, blinding me, pours out its gold.
my dream is gone and with it went my plan
to stay the course and be there for the dawn
of some great thing. but I don’t think I can,
and this because my lovely dream is gone.
a lifeboat made of little more than hope
(not watertight and also slightly frayed)
and yet “the thing with feathers” helped me cope,
and stay! of such was my good lifeboat made.
I didn’t need the ocean to be true.
the faith (and miracles it would precede)
were not my gift; the hope would have to do.
my hope is gone, and that I didn’t need.
whether it is true or whether counterfeit,
still the work to do is getting over it.
Come walk with me and put your hand in mine,
and hold it tightly, and know that there’s a grand design
which says that you (and I) will never be alone.
Oh, but first, the thing I have to do is throw this stone
at you, my friend, because I think I should
cast you out, since you’ve stopped being good.
I mean, you are good, as some might use that word,
but used too broadly, the meaning gets obscured.
Specifically, I’d like to see you practice what I preach.
I know that in your mind, you (and I) and all are each
and every one of us the same in the widest sense
of “equal in the eyes of God” but your offense
has been to advertise this fact, and then to doubt
the absolute authority that lets me cast you out!
You know exactly what this loving stone is for—
it’s to help you on your way; now go and sin no more.
I give myself three days to cry, to grieve,
to listen (yet again) to another’s point of view,
to wear my heart resolutely on my sleeve,
or a black silk ribbon–that will have to do.
mourn with me, my friend; I’ll mourn with you.
wiping grot and oily grime from
cobwebbed garage shelves, now mine,
I tamp down irritation at the time
it takes to clean another house. “it’s fine.”
my old house was scrubbed spotless. no token left
behind, nodding at our decade there. no broken
things, no artifacts, no remnants. all was taken
clean away. I felt an obligation, though unspoken,
to erase all traces of myself, and so I did, at length.
but in this new place, there’s a story in the dank
and mildewed corners, and taped to a crumbling plank—
“have a good one. you are my strength.”