Alison, Love, Poetry

A Flock of Sparrows for Majel: Forty Years Ago and Last Night

A Flock of Sparrows for Majel

(About a 2 minute read)

I. Forty Years Ago

I lie awake into the heart of a soft summer night,
Listening to the cicada shove life forward,
Beat upon beat, until their wild, shrill drumming
Is swallowed silent as a memory into time,

Then begins. Again.

And I remember Alison.

I lie awake into the heart of a soft summer night,
Listening to the cicada shove life forward,
Beat upon beat, until their wild, shrill drumming
Is swallowed silent as a memory into time,

Then begins. Again.

And I remember Alison.

Once a woman passed this way
Into the heart of a long ago summer,
On the wild, shrill scream of a generation then alive.
In their ending silence I became nothing, no more

Than my name.

I became numb.

II. Last Night

You know how it goes,
You meet people, good people,
Company for awhile.

They fall away,

Each one falls away.

One reason after another,

They fall away.

You gave up playing Twister with them long ago.
You no longer try to change your core
To fit inside their skins,
You’re not looking for a twin anymore.

One night you’re thinking about her
Was she the hinge, the turning point?

The first person you ever loved?

Yeah, she was the first person you ever loved.
And tonight maybe you’re finally seeing it true.

Maybe, you think — the thought comes too slow —
Maybe she was the only one who could have walked
The distance, the whole distance of your life
With you.
Why the did you leave her?

Why the hell did you leave her?

Does she have nights like you have nights now?
Did you betray not just your love,
But both your loves?

Maybe she didn’t love you all.
Wouldn’t that be better than you betrayed her?

But you can not believe now
— not now —
— not this night —
That she didn’t love you.

There is no refuge.
There is no salvation.
There is only the truth.

You would only go numb
If you ran again
From the truth.

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