In the space before dawn, lovers dream,
drifting on the night becalmed
while the moon sails on,
too occupied charting his course across the heavens
to linger long and offer any solace to their grief
that the night is swiftly passing.
say there is time for making wishes!
On he sails, their lament rising:
spread your shadows like dreams under our feet!
Let star showers weave themselves like pearls across our path;
Tracing his swift course they cry:
look at the time, it’s just before dawning!
Say there is time for dancing
while the night is still cool and the stars are so bright!
Still he sails on,
this silver-tipped ship,
high above their furtive cries.
You stripped the beds,
wiped down the shower,
emptied the wastebasket,
removed the wet towels,
and slipped out of the room.
I wasn’t ready to wash the cup you left behind on the sink,
cocoa stained ‘round the rim
looking like tea leaves
foretelling me you would go.
Though we tried to preserve us
with goodbye pictures at the gate,
only half-faces stared back from digital frames;
nervous laughter a poor substitute for hugs.
The weight of your leaving deflected our aim
so that only parts of you and me were captured in front of steel and glass DEPARTURES
But then I centered the lens on you
and captured the moment I wanted:
soft brown hair blowing in that breezy way it does when you let it.
I remember you.
Have you ever folded a fitted sheet?
Flapping and waving
the sheets fly away from the line
like giant flags of surrender.
The wicker basket lays there, expecting them to give up
yet, they hang back like wallflowers at a dance.
I approach, extend my hand
and begin a pas de deux with the fitted sheet.
Gathering the voluminous cloud from the line
is like waltzing -
with an overzealous large woman!
Stumbling and tumbling
I begin to fold and tuck opposing ends.
Struggling to follow her lead I hold her close.
I amaze myself with expert dance moves
and attempt a dip!
Carefully avoiding the basket lying in wait for the bait,
I attempt a second dip.
While folding and tucking corners to corners
We achieve something akin to symmetry!
I fling my dance partner unceremoniously
into the mouth of the waiting basket as
we both sigh with satisfaction.
We were alone once on a road,
deep in the heart of Ohio.
This was in the fall,
when apples and golden leaves
hung heavy on the trees.
We had cast aside other obligations,
you and I,
and let our ride take us wandering.
We tried hard to hold on to those hours,
but they slipped away,
as hours do.
This, we said, was our time.
We said we'd come back again.
We'd leave the other diversions of our lives
and find this place again,
whatever we had to do,
wherever we had to go,
to be so happy again.