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Reprise

by John Herzog

Standing on the porch
looking over the desert,
water trickles down
and cuts the dusty
dry earth in two

Tears flowing,
just like any other day
spent with my
arm against
the threshold
of my front door,
gazing out over
the barren world
and wondering why
you are not inside
with me, showing me
the ways of life

And from the
waters spawned
what was the most
puzzling display:
slowly and surely
blades of grass
were bursting
through the dead earth
in an impossible verdure,
topped with irises
and johnny-jump-ups
and golden dandelions
and saplings that grew
into the hardiest,
highest oak trees

Right beneath my eyes,
this garden exploded
into splendor,
and as this
brittle old
wooden threshold
is now lined with
climbing ivy,
I know it's not
my place to wait
for you
any longer

Is it safe
to take a step
out into the brilliant green?
What if you
returned while
I was away?

But one cannot
resist the world,
and my bare feet could not
resist the invitation
of the soft ground
on a warm day in May.
Whilst blowing bubbles
and reclining beneath
the yellow rays,
I should have at
least known to leave
the front door
open for you.

So you came.
You went.
You floated away
like the blithe
dandelion seeds
under their white
umbrellas.

And so I ran
faster than the
wind to see
if I could keep
up with you,
to grasp you
in my palms
one last time
before it was
too late,
before the
gusts had
swept you
away across
the oceans

But you were gone.

And the earth became
my punching bag
as I screamed
into the heavens,
a rage that
forced me to
collapse into
the deepest
of sleeps.

After countless nights
I awoke,
and I awoke
to find
an earth
bathed
in dandelions,
sighing as
they smile
up at me
from every
direction,
leading, lining
the cobblestone path
out of this valley -
a road I walk
as the old door
sits at the top
of the hill
far, far
behind

And now I
may leave
as peacefully
as the cumulus
clouds,
knowing
you will
remain there.

Maybe
you were always
there.

12/31/2009

Author's Note: For my father, may he rest in peace (1957 - 2009).

Posted on 12/31/2009
Copyright © 2020 John Herzog

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Sarah Wolf on 01/05/10 at 02:42 AM

So sorry for your loss John. Thank you for sharing this. This is just a guess... but I think your father would like this. :)

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