Poem #8 Banquet

posted November 9, 2018

We have waited for this day.

We didn’t know what we’d been missing
Until we drove out of town, through the last color––
Bursts of yellows and oak-tawny leaves
The flip in our stomachs as we crest the mountains
That ring this bowl we call home.

We missed the best part of the autumn
The pretty part
Lost as if surgically removed
We gaze around now,
Surprised by the truncated days
The bare trees
What happened to the Forest of Arden?
All our rituals at Michaelmas?

They will have to wait until next year
And today you believe there will be a next year.

Our work is to keep circling back to hope. To this day.
We made our escape, didn’t we?
Given four eyesful of sunlight
Blue blue heavens
Frames through which to see

You saw me again.

Part of me
Is still stuck in that moment
When you pointed to your phone
Distressed about what was never there
Repeating four words
In different combinations
Your eyes became colorless

I felt a haze of brown smog
Descend around my forehead
Pulling tight

We try never to go back to that moment
We must go back to that moment
We can never go back to that moment

I saw you
And I lost you
I saved you
And I lost you
I heard you
And I missed everything you said.

Come back to hope: today.
We approach the moment again
We circle it
We almost laugh
We examine our wounds
Our aging bodies
Don’t they make us laugh too?
Look what they can’t do anymore! HA!

All the moments in our lives
Especially the ones we can’t go back to and must go back to
Prepare us for death.
We know this,
And still. And so:
Let us feast on the remnants of color
This mid-November banquet.

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