There was a final time: the stall set out,
With jewelry and fabrics in a line —
The next day, and thereafter then, no more;
No more, and soon, no one with memory
To paint in images or words the scene
That once was daily, year on year on year.
The mundane, the quotidian: our lives,
Not big events, but habits of our days,
They soon lie empty on a sandy waste —
The firebird heads into the unknown,
High o’er the mountains, just past where we see,
To leave behind our stalls for someone else
Pine cleaner and mildew in an endless battle always smelling,
Fluorescent lights glaring, steel shelves’ bright abundance of overstock;
Wide aisles of sometimes blockage, large displays,
Concerns of new managers and old vendors there daily stopping;
Living always in bargains for that which others
Have passed in affluence;
Thrift village then aging into infirmity, death overlooking —
Knowing only the cracks of light seeping through imprisoning boards
The days are fading, fading into smoke;
I try, but I can’t hold them in my hands.
The fire’s gone, there’s nothing left to stoke,
Just empty parking lots, and barren lands —
The days are turning, burning into mist;
With just a shimmer there, or glimmer here —
The mill of time, that turns our loves to grist,
And fads, like life, that up and
Photo credit : ID 3563443 Susan Leggett | Dreamstime.com
He sits down on the hardwood bedroom floor,
Examining the photos he just found.
Some of them he’d seen before, and he remembered
How old he thought these were when he was just a kid.
But now they seem alive, they seem to carry
Voices, times, and colors, colors hidden now by sepia,
That bleed in on the edges of remembrance
A clapboard house (he thought it saw its building)
His father and grandfather (you two smile!)
His father with his brothers (they were kids once)
His parents at a party (he could hear the big band music)
His father’s mother’s mother (that’s some hat!)
And all of it’s an arch, a great continuing
Connecting him and his to them and theirs
For our great chain of being lives in stories,
The stories we should tell and we should hear —
For life’s still there, it’s there among the fallen:
If we just hearken, ere they
So off into the snow begins his day:
The old town’s still asleep, or mostly so —
Just melting ice and mud along the way,
And turns that catch the full winds as they blow
The make his progress more than slightly slow.
And it’s as though the village sits without
The changing ways that time is all about.
Ensconced in wool, a shovel in his hand —
A wooden handle, and a metal spade —
He starts to dig a path across the land,
And very sluggishly a way is made
Across flat ground, and up the valley grade.
But still, it’s though a hundred years ago
Came back, for all external things might show.
But what are we, but moments in a weave;
A woof of time, a warp of this and that,
And dash of hope and what we might believe,
To climb and to descend and span the flat
And dig our way through this, our habitat,
Inside a world where time is meaningless
To ponder what this all is
A castle stood upon the rise,
But long ago;
A glint beneath the sunny skies,
A golden glow
For childhood imagining
Had made it so:
To get it back is maddening.
The cold winds blow
Across the bleak, deserted field
Where knights who’ve lost their sword and shield
Just fade away
Do good things come to those who wait?
Or do they waste their days
And months and years in wishing
For the slightest of displays
That what they hope for might come true?
It’s hard to make a rule —
That one could then encapsulate
To teach at home or school.
But this — this one idea I have
And you helped me to birth it —
I waited all my life for you
Was worth it
Inspired by this prompt.
(“This One Idea” – 11-16-2014)