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When there’s not much going on
when all positions have been tried
and cast aside, the years of playing
house and chasing Indians or being
chased have proven in the adult form
to lack their former mystery, it’s easy
to fall back on history.

What could be safer to this bored of
weary mind than what I have survived,

Comparing notes we pass the time
in passing notes create a time for us
to nail upon a tree with certainty.

They were the days, those days,
unlike the days that lie ahead, the ones
I dared not trust, for fear they’d prove
the lie consumed when droughts about
the truth of me rolled on and on
until the tributaries dried and veins
subsided rusty roads they cracked
my lips until they bled.

Rich pleas I formed in pleasant rhyme
to please and keep a roof above this head
till shapes appeared as lush and greener
pastures of a kind that might be kind:
how wondrous are the disappointments
that we find and find again—

But, no!
I break

this rumination, come from
ruminants of multi-stomached
cows, this gut I have but one
it sees me through and asks for
nothing but continued trust the
nutrients of which the light and love
and joy of life incessantly provide.

We have a history, the you and I, ‘tis sure,
as multi-branched as future our
capacity to choose the good and true
of it, eternal spring…now here’s the
bridge that only I may cross and so
I pause to kiss your mouth and look
once more into those eyes. Farewell,
my friend, and hale well met, my
love, my deeper love.


© Elaine Stirling, 2012

“Rain, Speed and Steam: The Great
Western Railroad”, painting by
Joseph M.W. Turner (1775-1851)