Crossroads

by Buck Weaver

 

The crazy welter and shades 

Of the cascade of days into decades:

The sheltering towns; hopes and fears;

Fields of work; achievements and tears,

Merge down trails softly blending 

Into misty history; a visceral rending,

Yet lending gladness to the grateful heart.

Treading the twisting paths, the part

Others played is clear:  the braid tightens

Again the unity that brightened 

The voyage with friends, family, and wives

On the river of our lives.

 

The spirited exchange of views

Floated is once again renewed: 

Nuggets of family news;

Ideas rendered and chewed 

Over long after partaking of food;

The heady entertainment libations

In celebration of each other; conversations;

Laughter; cards; sports; the wry slip

Into sly comeuppance and gamesmanship.

 

The missing are memorialized, unable

To pull up a chair at the table;

No longer holding up their end

As a loyal, dependable friend

Or sister or brother; glow now dimmed

And song unheard; once an audible wind

That could whisper, hum quietly or shout; 

No longer tenderly or brusquely reaching out.

 

Absence tweaks a chord down deep,

Strummed by those who have fallen asleep

Or who have become too distant 

To dole out nick-of-time subsistence:

A smile or measure of affection;

Lessons of wisdom, advice or correction

That snatched the tentative white flag

Of despair before it reached the crags

Of the crumbling ramparts of weakening will,

Resulting in fresh hope instilled.

 

Their large figures have upper rank 

In the vaults of our existential bank,

Defying cords weakened by death’s cold stare;

Exhaustion or crossroads veering elsewhere.

How we fared or failed doesn’t loom

As large in our inevitable scatter; 

What remains leaves only room 

For vestiges of love, the nub of the matter.

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