Return From A Travel
The sidewalk oak will no more dance or tremble
by Jenne Kaivo
When wind howls typhoon-strong past its street-corner;
Age makes the tree be proud and bare and grown, untrimmed.
I see your door where I once begged is now a hole
Where kits of foxes yip and yowl.
I see the chapel where you did not show seems overgrown
With poison ivy vines that glow in fall.
The life I thought was mine is come and gone.
The statue tall and bronzed that was Colossus
To the alley that I met you down is now
A rusty ankle where I carved my name. That’s what remains,
Still tan and smooth, as these things go.
We drank of whiskey, aqua vitae, you and me,
Quaffed it in a hole beside the road,
On landscaped grassy loam,
And on foundations in the night where, during daylight, buildings grew.
Well, should I dig and fetch your bones grown gold
And damp beneath their headstone oak?
Or have the fox-kits long since got to those?
I guess the smog on which we choked has likewise flown,
The air is clean as bleach, as clean as nothing left at all;
The rain’s completely purified the greasy streets.
Shall I leave, or find your grave to throw your wake,
And maybe, spilling finest bourbon on your bed,
cause you to rise again?