I said “have you seen they’re tearing down –”
He said “yeah, you know, I met Joy in that place.
It’s kinda where we fell in love –”
It’s been four years since she’d passed away,
And I thought, how sad — we lose who we love,
And may then lose the things we connected to them,
One by one, inch by inch, year by year —
But he interrupted my thinking with,
“That first kiss was the best one I ever had –“
We’d, in summer, see them sitting
In their yard, beyond the hollow,
From our bikes, the rain permitting:
Smiling then, their eyes would follow,
Children done with summer play,
Heading home at fade of day.
One old couple: wrinkled, graying,
Side by side with shadows growing:
That their hearts for us were praying,
We’d no way of really knowing.
But, our youth was not such blindness,
We could not detect their kindness.
Then, new summer on the canyon,
She was in the chair alone, now:
And we saw that her companion,
Must have died. We knew it, somehow.
All us boys took off our caps then,
Age eleven, or perhaps ten.
So she mouthed a thankful greeting;
We, his honor guard, departed.
Hearts that grow with one less beating,
Come from what that first heart started.
Weeds grow thick now in the hollow,
Mockingbird, and jay, and swallow,
Singing: “Life’s a storm, a torrent:
Love’s forever — people aren’t.”
Once, a shy girl: soft imploding,
Preset pillows, pressed decoding,
Colored contacts, carbo loading,
Lover, fighter, guard of dreams —
Then, a new boy: bright exploring,
Hope expanding, thoughts outpouring,
Dark hair shining, passions warring,
Writer, painter, all extremes —
Came a moment: golden gladness,
Manic mixture, molten madness,
Scenes of soon-forgotten sadness,
Two lives taken off of shelves
Once, a shy girl: gotten bolder,
Then, a new boy made to hold her,
One more day, but not just older,
Two new people, now
Last night, she told him that
She loved and missed him —
And he could feel it,
In the way she kissed him —
Last night, the fire burned
From simple kindling:
Now love grows large, when it
She brings young love up to the door,
Her family on the other side;
A heart as full as hearts can be,
And eyes alight with pride —
But families don’t always see:
They can get locked up in the past,
And miss the growing moment’s mien,
“Another thing not meant to last –”
But Lord, how much I now believe
That love is love, and not to be
Ignored, put down, or patronized,
Nor pushed aside with pleasantry —
And all there is here is what is:
That boy loves girl, and girl loves boy,
That fire warms, and welcomes us,
And we should greet it all
In those days love was everything.
He loved her like a tangled kiss,
And she loved him with all her teenage fervor —
The room the same, the heart had changed.
Perspectives go with attitudes,
And what they had they wanted to take further.
In nights of majesty and light,
Discovery and after-flight,
The world shrunk down, but also grew,
At least for two —
In those days love was everything:
She wore him like a fresh corsage,
And he wore her just like a life preserver
we saw him at the grocery store —
an empty cart, a vacant stare —
a man who’d always worn a smile,
miles, now, from anywhere
the earth he’d tilled lay in the sun,
as he kept at the life he’d known,
but empty was a table chair
and inside, no light ever shone,
for she, who gaunt became, had gone;
and he himself had dug the earth
in which she rested, free from pain,
but what was all of this still worth?
the smell of soil freshly turned
brings moisture to his eyes, because
he wishes that dirt covered him,
so he could walk the fields
Sheila’s not afraid of laughing
At herself or anyone;
Vanity and human foibles
Are an endless source of fun
So her voice is filled with laughter,
Musical, like sweet guitar:
Nothing’s funnier than lovers,
Look at how absurd
He’d never been the high-achievement kind.
He heard about it from his ex a lot —
But yet, he is not lazy, just the type
Who’s happy taking care of what he’s got;
Instead of restlessly acquiring more.
She’d wanted more than just to share a bed.
Relationships of hers had all devolved
To homely power struggles in the end —
With men who knew no ease from problems solved;
Men she left off as tendentious and sore.
But then, they met, and it was love at once.
Her love to him engendered his content:
He loved her as a wildflower grows
To watch and cherish for its sight and scent,
Without attempting to improve its store
To walk together:
Life and love, explore –
To walk together —
All they’d each