Versions of Distance
For homebound Elaine
You’ve known between the south and the north
Different versions of distance, enough to see
How reason can be a spring working against or for
Commitment, passion and their future.
In the plastic bamboo grove, we always sit around a table, talking,
Once about whether oily words could drive at a meaning
Constant like the cholera-free ship mooring offshore.
Or, when enthralled by a show, do we need
To judge each role by the performer’s art or nature?
We sit still, the scenes flowing away before our eyes,
And as we sit still, the scenes flow within us;
This is the same as you, coming and leaving, breezy,
While people are continually revised by distance,
So that our lasting ache is shown as mortal happiness.
Yet, as we talk about tables in our childhood homes,
We each have a separate past to share, and we may believe
We must have known each other when, across time and space,
The first steps of our bare feet started to measure the world.
July 13-14, 2010