Friday, August 10, 2018

Gone west (for David)

                   Gone west
It seems in my life I have always
moved west, New Brunswick, Alberta,
the boardwalk behind the Quay;

it’s a left-handed sort of life
driving me heartwards, though never,

no never,

                                        that day
When I thought I saw you/ on the boardwalk
my guts jumped:                    it
jerked the hook in my colon
(you always knew about bait)

You know how it was:    I wanted to stand on my desk
on the last day of classes
and shout:  O captain!  My captain!

But you had your own rotation – I saw
it reel from view, and

(helpless to catch you)

watched your spiralling apogee.

What is the remotest segment of an orbit?
Booze, blondes.  Too much of
a good thing.  But I did love you.
We wandered, Pooh and Piglet in an
Escher maze, searching for heffalumps.

You calmly said, “Watch this,” and set fire
to my mind.

I saw you as the human yoyo, bobbing up and
sleeping, walking the dog, in and out
and ‘round the world.

I knew you’d be back, like hounds,
like a cycle of blood, like black
fruit springing into tree.  When the
string broke, I hid my eyes, and
said, but it’s only a lute,
it will heal itself,
half-hoping I was wrong.

I don’t know why or how God looks
after you, beached like Stanley’s whale,
stared at by the curious.  I don’t know
how God manages.  It was beyond me.

And so I kept on moving. 
Margaret Gunning