In the early morning
As darkness still looms under the windowshades
And, now old, I lie covered against the cold air
I grieve for all the realities yet uncreated;
That fell on the journey from fantasy to memory.
The visit to Montevideo unmade
And so the lovely Uruguayan princess unmet
She of noble values and deep respect for the man
Who, late one balmy night,
Battled the tawdry gang that challenged her honor
And then, after they fled, spent and bleeding on the floor
Laughed that it was the most fun he had ever had.
That moment, she said later after his passing,
Ensconced their love and gave their children
The dignity of heritage.
Yes, and the national wrestling championship unwon
While, a poor lad lurking in the library basement
Of ivied Princeton, then, all done, delivering
To the sweaty masses in glorious Iowa
The heartbreaking eulogy for a career
Made of belief, and boldness, and that special purity
That god reserves for those who risk it all
In blissful purpose.
Instead, a life where small risks seemed big
And big unconscious
Where simply struggling to survive the day
Consumed all energy, and counseled a measured approach
In which the soul moans in the belly, yearning to be born
And this poem, like so many,
Cries to be read to she who is not here.
Yes, I grieve for the races unrun, the children unfathered,
The women unloved, the forests unexplored,
The books unwritten, the duels unfought, the long, flat roads
To somewhere undriven, and now,
Now as the light gathers silver gray around the curtain
And all the realities yet uncreated
Are carried with the leaves and stones downstream
I rise, alone, to fix some fruit and a tea perhaps
And, knowing what it is to lose that which one never had
To wait.