Weekly feature by: John Grey
There’s something about birthdays.
This year, as you know, we’ll both be having one.
One year closer to nothingness
except you have the boys of course
and I’ve clobbered the internet with my name.
We’ve already carved a chunk out of the 21st century.
I can remember when it was the future.
Time to reflect as they say.
How did we ever get where we are?
You claim to have been born mediocre.
I just remember poverty and hand me downs from cousins.
Fatherless at birth — what are the odds?
It’s these years between that keep us
going back to the beginning.
Why did you stay and I leave?
How come I can look out at a yard heaped with snow
while palm trees wave you in and out
of your home in the sub-tropics.
Choices? Accidents? One and the same, I figure.
But then there was Belinda killed by a drunk driver.
And your mother — cancer — and so young.
We have lived these losses.
We didn’t skirt them then. We do not do that now.
We both wrote poems and read them to each other.
Your muse departed early. It was never serious.
But you still listened to mine
just as I heeded all your broadcasts
from that foreign country — pregnancy.
Man — woman — platonic.
How strange the concept.
Conversations ranged from recipes to sports.
Arid art of course, But also wayward automobiles.
“Man is only a reed,” Pascal tells me.
“The weakest to be found in nature.”
Yes and we all grow together in that same marsh.
No surprise then that, with the wind being
what it is, some of us touch from time to time.