Still Water

Perhaps there’s no one but you
In the water; at least
I don’t see the others now
I pull you back to catch your breath,
At the edge, mere feet away.

It seems to show no more than this:
That none of us were ever apart,
Even before our bodies touched,
Awkward at first, but soon
We were perfectly contoured.

The same fragment comes today
The ghost of a hymn,
Whose words meant nothing
once and now are gone.
For mile along the river’s edge I walk
With scattered thoughts,
a sense of you,
I fail in what feel like a duty
to understand.

It’s then I think
of how you were back then
The reassuring visit,
the kiss,
unguarded
What I saw is what I see
from years before again
For seconds you seem lost from me,
The diagnosis,
your frozen look of fear
And I am startled
to a kind of adjustment

Stunned, to silence,
how it never leaves,
That sense of being hurtled
through wonder
dread,
from statis to change
And never to figure it out.
You’d say, to quell the hurt,
‘It’s only pain’.
I want to agree,
but ‘only’ was always wrong.

The pain is what we have –
the randomness,
The loss,
the scruples vainly coined from books
The sudden change of heart,
The body failing, rebeliing
and then to discover
How surgeons balls it up,
how someone dies waiting in the queue,

How soon our days
begin to drag like old men’s days,
The fear is what we need to fathom:
What we love, we lose.

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