Thursday, January 14, 2010

i know you're smiling, i don't even have to see your face

i have an uncle who for some strange reason thinks that harry and david pears can buy a mother's love:


the last time i saw him
i could not hold his attention
we could have been strangers passing one another on a crowded street
once each year
we find some token from his past
that validates his sometime existance

he scarcely knows
what constitutes an acceptable offering
so he sends something
obscenely neutral
universally appealing
surely this will satisfy
the nagging mother
the sister with all the children
the brother whose hands
have the same lines that his father's did

he steps off of the plane
breathes into the cold air
and can feel nothing but the emptiness of his pockets

i recently reconnected with an old friend (ah, the joys of the internet!) who has taken a very different path from me. she and her companion are spending a year volunteering in israel, and they are writing a blog to keep in touch with their friends stateside. i have been reading their posts, and thus, this was born:

first morning

he walks the streets
in a country where he is a visitor
he fumbles their language
and they respond to him in the familiar

it is a place that is ragged with the passing of many years
old paths breathe a life into him
full of memories, rare energy

sitting at a small cafe table
he sips turkish coffee
and contemplates the small
they way the blinds open
the shouting cab drivers
the sound of a ripened lemon
singing a quiet song
as it falls on the roof late in the evening

he thinks of the woman that he woke up with that morning
how he marveled at her goodness
the soft curls of her hair
the quiet tension of her lips
touching just so

the heat of the day comes
and he is readying the ground for planting
he imagines the fattened lemon
that woke him the last night
and thinks to himself
that perhaps the large and the small are not so different

this earth here
that earth there
it should always be filled with this peace

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