Am I my own lesson, growing distant
by Patti Masterman
Owning nothing, owing everything
The places I have stepped over; impasses, hurrying me,
Slowing me down, holes made to fall in,
Shouldering faults of weakness
Speaking languages I could not have written
The word I a curse, the word you a blessing
(We are hard of hearing only certain sounds.)
Every second every breath houses unknown visitors
Opens to a trail to where I have not been
Are we going there, or are we not?
How far is it, for the dark is treacherous.
How could we live so long and not know every direction by now?
Our hands talk, our eyes do not.
Our faces smile, but our mouths hang slack
Like vagrants sighting police with night sticks.
Half of our emotion caught out after dark
Blurry like famous paintings nobody understands
(We're old now, and secrets are over-rated.)
But afraid to move afraid to think,
Darkness coalesces ahead of us
Like actions we've yet to regret.
(The worst thought: When I become frail, I will know it.)