(About a 2 minute read)
You broke into tears the moment I said
I loved you. I panicked. What had I done?
It was your father and mother, you explained.
Their brutal fighting and divorce had butchered
Some part of you. Cut your ideals about love
You no longer were that girl
In the smiley-faced dungarees
Who believed “I love you”s were gold
That could never be tarnished,
Were diamonds that would never
Turn back into coal.
That night, night of tears, you made visible
To me how we plant our feet astride the notion
Of undying love.
Stride it like a farmer
With just one plant to tend.
Hold it up like a hunter
Holds up a twelve point buck he’s killed.
It means everything to us,
It visibly means everything to us.
Inevitable, I suppose, to want more of a good thing.
Yet perhaps greed to want more than is freely given.
Either way, human nature.
Are not all creatures born to die, including us?
And yet we touch this thing called “love”,
Hoping we can for a moment become Midas,
And turn love into lasting gold.
But don’t you know? The reason gold lasts
Is because it has never lived.
Only those things that never live last forever.
I can see the setting sun
Burning colors in your hair.
There’s nothing we can do
To keep those colors there.
I can see the raven cross
The liquid changing sky,
And in my heart I know
We too must pass on by.
I will not make you promises
That life itself will surely break,
But I can be with you this moment
In these fires on Clinton Lake.