Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Let the world wait

Last night
a weary worldly friend
crept in and sat down by my bed.

"What's happening?"

"What's not?"

She settled in.
I sighed.

Staring at the ceiling fan,
I told her of a summer long before,
of when sixth grade had ended
and for the last time until September
I'd bounded home from school.

"My pack slid from my shoulders,
my shoes fell on the floor.
Down the stairs I flew, twelve of them in seven steps,
my brother a blur behind me.
On the concrete floor we crouched,
a pair of academic acolytes.
Gleefully we lit a fire:
in the wood stove went
More still:
maps I'd drawn,
games I'd made,
an unsent love letter or two?
page after page after page after page after page after page of
all that made
a year of school
a pile of learned lifeless ash."

So easily ended.
As though a heavy blade had sliced the summer from the spring,
I was cut free
to waste those sunny days in whatever way I could.

The ceiling fan spun on.

"And now?"

"And now it's hard to extricate
tomorrow from today.
So much undone
makes what is done
remain unsung.
I can't rest on my laurels
if my laurels aren't yet won!
If I flew westward fast enough,
might I outrace the sun?"

"Now it's time to get some sleep,"
she said.

Nodding, I agreed.
I let her close my eyes.

"Close the door.
Shut me in.
Make me a cup of chamomile tea.
As I sit sipping,
let the world wait.
For a day,
let the world wait."

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