I wrote this after seeing an old girlfriend

 

who had aged quite a lot .

 

I felt the sadness of what could not be

 

and felt my hands open up with praise

 

and wanting to stroke her with gestures of giving

Gestures of Giving

Old friend whose eyes

I suddenly see again

 

looking at me

 

How long have I been avoiding you?

 

Like the skinny kid next door

 

who always makes a lot of noise

 

trying to be noticed

 

When I look on him fully

 

catching his full attention

 

and our eyes meet

 

   I see the quieting in his chest

 

The feel of his mother touching him

 

Stroking him like she never did

 

Making his whole life softer

 

     and just with the praise of looking

 

And I can feel the weight of this knowing

 

like a vow

 

that I always know when I break

 

unless that breaking

 

goes on and on

 

for a long time

 

 

 

But even then

 

I remember

 

old friend

 

with your face banged and chastened by age

 

hiding behind carefully applied make-up

 

smiling at me

 

looking deeper

 

 

holding me with your attention

 

stroking me with recognition

 

 

The terrible hurt of life bursts open

 

and releases

 

We feel again with our bellies

 

and

 

Like a heavy weight finally put down

                                                                                   

Everything

 

now grows and changes

                                                           

And now,

 

Even my hands make gestures of giving