Waves are swelling toward the coast back home,
So I have to return soon.
But I appreciate the chance to have our visit.
      I became wistful while sorting through what you left to me.
      Surprising, how fast I could travel so far to see you.

I couldn’t have even read your handwriting,
Had you not taught me the old songs.
      They don’t play them on the radio anymore.

Furthermore, it was a boon to learn how to tie knots.
And perhaps even more crucial, how to untie them.

Because I am hemmed in by so many knots.
My children, my employers, the politicians I argue with,
      Even an occasional poet.

Although most of the ones I disparage have already died.

Well, let’s get back to the topic.

You also taught me to drop a plumb line,
And to dowse for items more precious than water.
Most of what we pulled up was pretty ugly,
But they were worth the long trips to barren horizons.
Don’t worry.
      I have saved them all.

And finally, that last bit about retaining dignity.
Or correspondingly, relinquishing needless pride.
I’m sure I’ll use that in the future.

So now I hear the torrents urging me back
To scan for survivors.

But thanks for the time spent, which I’ll gather with me
      Till we are next together.


This poem was published in the 2020 Wising Up Press anthology Goodness.

Andy Oram
May 19, 2018

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