On Seeing An Old Friend
by David Asia (April 2014)
I saw and old friend yesterday,
In his family’s stubborn land,
Cleaving to the founding generation,
Who chewed at timber,
Tore at rock,
And greened their lands
With defiant arteries of water.
The rains had failed him,
The snows slid too quickly
Down the dry throat
Of the hills,
And the land itself
His children had come of age,
Loosed their grip –
The eldest fleeing to Baltimore,
And the baby
Disappearing over time
Into a heroin overdose –
Leaving him and his weathered wife
Tangled up in the
Tired machinery of farming,
And at war with everything,
From their own exhausted chemistry,
To the government’s grey wolves.
The timekeeper is fickle.
One moment she exalts us
And we look out upon
An ocean of ourselves.
We are islands
In a shallow sea of other,
Buoyed only by nostalgia,
And betrayed at last even by water,
The dearest of our children,
As it turns away from our fields,
Towards the lawns and gardens
Of those who would
Too easily forget
We were here.
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