Am I Fooling Myself

Venus’s been hovering west of the moon,
following Earth’s satellite like a dog
looking for a bone. Each night, I walk
through Bryn Mawr, climbing each steep hill
to face the next steep hill. I follow my
celestial neighbor. I wonder at
all the activity she hosts - so far
away that the distance is beyond
comprehension. Is she lonely in her
fury? Is her light a result of pain
or passion?
Venus brightens the sky and
guides my walk past the post office, beneath
the train trestle. Our world is full of travel,
transporting people and ideas to where
they need to go. So it seems. I walk up
a short incline toward the long driveway
of a private girl’s school which boast not of
academics but of its string of cherry
blossoms lining each side of its driveway.
A gift from China I think. Passing through
the dark, I wonder why the ancients so
ordained Venus the goddess of love. Is
she after me as I approach middle
age and each day recognize the gray in
my hair and crows feet beside my eyes?
Ten years ago where was she? I would have
approached her with zealous intentions. Would
she have had me? Would she have taken me
and shared her moist love? Would she let
me kiss her breasts and stroke her thigh? Would she
envelope me like a clam shell closing?
Or would I have been too arrogant or
too self-absorbed to have even given
her a thought?
I was younger then, logging
mile after mile of hills in a single
run. Putting distance between who I was
and who I wanted to become. I never
gave Venus notice; just as I never
gave walking a thought. I turn up Old Gulph
Road and lean into another steep hill.
My right leg propels my left leg; they work
in rhythm one provides passion for the
other. Reaching the top of the hill, I
pass by the Christ Baptist Church of Bryn Mawr
with the grave yard just beyond it as if
to remind the parishioners something
greater than they will eventually
take them at will.
Venus lights my way home.
Over my shoulder, I feel her tender
push as my legs grow heavy, cumbersome.
Again, what is happening on her surface
to produce all of that light? Her energy
overwhelms me. I never noticed her;
she has that beauty that is beyond touch,
reminding me there is something greater
than I am; something in control. Earlier
it seemed as if she were chasing the moon,
but perhaps the moon is that far behind
like a runner being lapped in a race
so far behind that it seems ahead. Was
she a lover so ready to love that
I was beyond honor? Or is she just
one more thing I took for granted? Or am
I fooling myself in believing that
I could ever have been so close to touch?

by Tim Gavin

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