August 27


When they are not presence, out
leaping stone to stone, we miss
their artifacts. A gum wrapper, a cut nail,
bunnies of dust.

An ad means they were there,
thought about going, thought about
returning, worried about dark in the parking lot.
A crumpled sock in a corner
is an old frustration that speaks of weariness,
brake pedals, a whimper over a twisted
ankle, or the fit of a new shoe,
when such things mattered,
like the lives of fish.

Promises. We will go (we went), we will do
(we did), we shall make plans and plans
and make and make
as the river makes its directions,
rushes, bends its grass,
and follow through until the next are made
and there are more socks to be tossed,
more rivers to fill,
more smiles when we enter the room,
and the soap in the tray will once more
drip with promises made and kept.

A trivial note will mean something other.
New, it might have closed, soon
forgotten moments after scribing;
old, it opens onto crickets, a fresh breeze,
that same river the color of frogs;
it remakes a thought, an idea, unassuming,
unknown so that all notes or gum
wrappers hide the thorns of a rose.

Unwashed door knobs are a clock of the years passing.
The songs you once heard bend around the walls.
Our job may be to listen for meaning
before meaning,
to learn today
as the unfolding of a wrinkled scribble
crushed at the bottom of a drawer,
that everything lost waits for its finding,
everything come morning time,
a thing found.

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