Encounter

In Memory:  Francine Wiley

 

“Where is your mistress?”

 

Having bounded the shoals,

He shakes himself

From head to tail, spraying

My legs, and, as I kneel,

Even my torso,

With the gritty, unholy water

That has soaked his fur.

He lifts his hopeful face

And pokes it into mine.

Trusting me, he turns about

And pants, his body a point

To the woman, who, far ahead,

Shimmers on the sands

In the noon-tide light.

She walks ever further away,

Up the curving circle of shore.

 

Happily wagging, he jumps

Ahead and barks:  “Hurry.”

I linger for a moment, looking,

Trying to make the woman out.

Somehow, she is so familiar.

Then, that terrible longing,

That pain out of limbo,

It hits.  Suddenly,

I know who I see in her.

The name will remain unspoken.

It has been so long now, since.

Ever longer will it be,

An eternity here, without.

The champion companion races

Forward.  What choice do I have.

I am compelled to follow.

 

The final, tidal wave on the beach,

It surges, it dies,

And yet it comes again.

 

February 23 – March 5, 2014

 


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