The air is warmer
Than the spring tonight,
Cooler than the summer.
A half-moon has risen
But I cannot recall
Whether it waxes or it wanes.
It is three in the morning and thunder
Is rolling off the mountains,
There is lightening to the North.
I just now woke up
And I cannot tell yet
If a storm is coming
Or if a storm has passed.
It is three in the morning –
The hour and the weather
Combine to surface a memory.
Once I loved a woman who I left
For reasons that seemed then
Necessary and wise,
But now seem dull and stupid,
Like dried mud.
Dull and stupid
The patterns of my life
Were never clear to me
Sooner than seven years ago.
The wind rises,
Rattles my screen door,
Then flickers away into the night
Like old memories of loves come,
And loves lost.
“Your father’s death”,
A wise friend said,
“Left you skittish as a stray cat,
Flinching like a nervous sparrow.
“But these things happen,
“The night comes along with the day.
Hearts come with ghosts.
You cannot blame yourself for what is natural.
Let’s watch a movie tonight.
I feel like a movie.”
There are ghosts in my heart.
There are ghosts in your heart too.
That much I have learned in 62 years.
This beautiful world
Is a world of sorrow and loss,
Against which I have too often
Hardened my heart.
Fortressed my heart.
But I have seen this, now I have seen this:
The day comes – the day always comes
When I try to reach out,
Reach out through the walls of my defenses
But I cannot reach out in time,
And love falls away.
The day always comes
When love falls away.
A fortress is always a prison.
There are ghosts in my heart,
There are ghosts in every heart.
In every heart, they rattle doors, “Be Safe!”
They rattle doors
To check that the doors are locked.
The ghosts rattle doors to check the locks.
So I sit here with my ghosts and my fears,
I sit here with my fears and my locks,
And I try to turn the key that will free me.
For you, my love, I am trying to turn the key.
In the past,
When I have said “I have learned my lesson”
I have more often meant to sooth myself
Than to speak the truth.
Time, only time will tell if the key has been turned.
A half-moon has risen
But I cannot see
Whether it waxes or it wanes,
And lightning strikes to the North.