Saturday Morning

those two old men are
sitting on the porch when
I run by, just as they have
for so many months—so
many years, really. later,
when I return—walking up
that hill—they will lift their
two hands at me and shrug
their sagging shoulders.
the heat is too much for me,
I will say, and they will
give the thumbs up, grinning,
before I start to run again.
it only takes four bounds
of my legs to cross those
railroad tracks, but I cannot
seem to cross the invisible
line of your friendship. I
name the wildflowers—blue
mistflower, coreopsis, red
clover, beardtongue—anything
to keep your face from my
mind; your name from my
lips.
a dog chases me. he once
had a companion, equally
vicious. he never bites, though
I feel his hot breath on my
leg.
do you believe I don’t think
of you?
you don’t have to run as
far in the heat, husband says.
your body works harder. but
I run until I am water, until
my breath comes in tiny
gasps, until every thought
is for air.
your smile is a thin line;
see right through you. O
friend. I have wounded
you with my distant ways.
I tried to tell you. I am not
good at polite conversation.
but sit with me, across the
table over bread. let me put
my old hand over yours—
look into your eyes.
Forgive me? the heat was
too much for me. I do
not know how to be a friend.
forgive me.
the road is lonely and I
miss you.

Comments

  1. Jerry says

    I am processing through some attachment issues that have been dogging me all my life. The two dogs resonated with me. One dog, my fighting self, barking, breathing as I run away or to something painful. The other dog, the companion who is no longer, is my passive self, who denies how I have relationally distanced people, especially those closest to me. Prayers for reparations of friendship.
    I read the entire link on the psychological analysis of the smile and it’s many forms. I am hesitant to crack a smile ever again… just kidding.

  2. Pam says

    “I am not good at polite conversation…I do not know how to be a friend.” Oh so beautifully, as always, you express how I feel too, Laura. I was just thinking yesterday… will it be so readily THERE, in heaven? That ability to connect so much more naturally? How to be more so here and now… Sometimes the road IS lonely and I miss all those too. I am not good at the chit chat. I want to jump ahead to knowing and being known… Maybe it is all part of “thru a glass darkly” for now… You are a wordsinger, my friend…

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