They tossed a Frisbee back and forth
Out on the college lawn;
Their only labor on that day
Was jumping after mis-throws.
I watched them through a window-pane
For several hours, straight,
A book that I was reading lay
Mostly uncomprehended —
And as I watched these other guys,
Whose names I didn’t know,
I looked around me at
My fallow dorm room, new
(My roommate I had yet to meet)
And wondered if I’d ever get to know them.
A junior transfer, me, I was
Both worried and excited:
But feeling like
I’d walked into the middle of
A play, one which
The others saw a first act that
Another friend came out to join them,
And he brought three cans
Of something they all sat awhile and drank.
And I was like a kid again
In still another neighborhood,
Watching another set of boys
And hoping for an invite.
Looking down, I noticed that
I hadn’t turned a page
Of Dandelion Wine
In quite awhile,
The world was autumn-ready,
And I guess that I was, too,
In my distracted way.
Another moment of my ever-long
I wish I could be like the leaves
And simply blow away,
For then I wouldn’t have to go
To school again today.
The teacher always yells at me,
And says I do things wrong —
I think I’ve got a complex, or
I will have, before long.
I wish it was still summer, so
We could go to the pool;
Instead we go to gym class,
Then our local lunchroom gruel.
The leaves go where they want, while I’m
In math, for heaven’s sake —
But I at least know how to count
Every single floating day,
Throw another care away;
Every single soaring night,
Find a wrong and make it right.
Every hand and every heart,
Every whole and every part,
Girl or woman, boy or man
Float and soar, because
Melt together with our hopes,
Forming passages —
The links between what has been,
And the good that’s yet to be
My only wish for you, my friend,
Is that these times would never end.
He loves you and he’s good to you:
And I can see you love him, too.
He loves your daughter just as well,
And after all the years of hell
You’ve been through: lonely, scared and poor,
It’s not too much I’m asking for.
I have one other hope, today,
Which is, as you go on your way
Through all your life’s new open doors,
Just know: this friend
The dreams that I dreamed as a child
Are gone. They’re gone like yesterday —
The life I’d live among the stars
Out there, somewhere, so far away —
A life of loving wondrous worlds
And science to discover them —
Perhaps the stars are still out there
The gray clouds