Monday, June 13, 2016

Flower Gardens

Today I passed your garden gate,
It rattled to and fro.
I don't remember it this way,
The gate I used to know.

Today I touched your garden gate,
The crumbling wood and rust.
How could I replace them now,
Its pieces turned to dust?

Today I breached your garden gate
As I had done before.
I wondered if you might be there,
Tilling earth once more.

Today I closed your garden gate
Behind me once again.
I walked along your garden path
The way I did back then.

Today beyond your garden gate
Where I shall wait for now;
They say you won't, but I just know,
You must return somehow.

Today beyond your garden gate
Where I've shed many tears;
They all expect to see me there,
The place I've come for years.

Today beyond your garden gate
I felt you there somehow.
Twas then I came, at last to peace.
A place unknown till now.

For just beyond your garden gate
My destiny was cast.
A place from where no man returns.
I found you there at last.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Cities Lights

My father, rather a quiet man,
told a story only the one time,
if even then—he had so little
need, it seemed, of being understood.
Intervals of years, his silences!
Late in his life he recalled for us
that when he was sixteen, his papa
entrusted to him a wagonload
of hogs, which he was to deliver
to the train depot, a half-day’s ride
from home, over a hilly dirt road.
Lightly he held the reins, light his heart,
the old horses, as ever, willing.
In town at noon he heard the station-
master say the train had been delayed,
would not arrive until that evening.
The boy could only wait. At home they’d
wait for him and worry and would place
the kerosene lamp in the window.
Thus the day had turned to dusk before
he turned about the empty wagon,
took his weary horses through the cloud
of fireflies that was the little town.
In all his years he’d never seen those
lights—he thought of this, he said, until
he and his milk-white horses came down
the last moonlit hill to home, drawn as
from a distance toward a single flame.
- Mary Avidano, "City Lights"