Have you noticed them creeping in now?
that one always early, that one always late
to a party years after the kitchen’s been cleaned.
as we were then.
Catching up with me on a sidewalk,
sneaking into an elevator,
following me on those stairs.
The darkness of a last stare
strolling through the back door.
warm arm hairs,
that itchy sweater of yours,
a reproach, a grin,
apologies never spoken.
Screen door slams
And all that white light.
My sunglasses? Where are they?
I must cover my eyes.
Their. No, there.
There. They. Are.
from the heavens
laughing and shaking their heads.
Is that pity? Are they pitying me?
They’re examining their hands.
Looking back at their lightness.
Catching their bearings.
Who’s dead now?
A collective wondering.
“What’s that covering their faces?” they mouth, confused.
Is it Halloween?
Just dropping by.
Did someone drop the cutlery?
Why so many line-ups? they ask.
Whatever happened to spontaneous?
They’re mocking me now. And you. All of us.
In the breeze through the poplars
through the trill of red winged blackbirds and
the turtles on that log clinging to the scent of
clematis, hydrangea and calla lilies
befriending me on my 6:30 am walks
when I’m trying to lean into
so much sorrow,
I must steady myself,
ignore the vertigo
because they’re so alive,
no doubt about it.
I can feel them
in a surge of yearning
I have to resist an overwhelming desire
to be there with them
just carrying on.