Essays in Failure – 3

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 –“

One Old Couple

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.”

In Joy

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 joy

In those days, love was everything.

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

far afield

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

she does