It seems we are at a fork in a country road by a tree.
I stand there restless. You sit down to think.
But you can’t think, not without something old and blue.
And when I find one it fits naturally.
Then all at once memories pour forth.
You tell me of times before, of dinners in Rome and fruit-picking in Virginia.
Of busy city streets and quiet country roads.
Like this road on which we wait, not knowing where to go.
You tell me not to worry, big things are coming.
It seems we’ve been here forever, never more than a day..
But I know tomorrow will be different.
Another day. Yesterday. I asked what you wanted.
You said you didn’t know. A bag, a suit, something borrowed and new.
I wonder how did we come here, does it make sense to those looking in.
I’m never quite sure are you happy, are we happy.
Just two people on the country road, not knowing where to go.
I ask again about those other times, of times yet to come.
Of numbers to be counted and voices to be heard.
This can’t be all I say and to my surprise you agree.
You get down on one knee.
It’s time to leave this mess behind, will you marry me?
We take the fork. We’re leaving not waiting, together.
I set off as sky touched red. Past roads familiar. Past faces I knew better than my own. They watched me go, etched in stone. No goodbyes, I was treated with silence. Such is penance. A cat paused on a wall. Like me it smelled the cinnamon. First I came to the church. I paused and prayed outside. For the day that was in it. For the bounty I was given. A siren screamed her song but I was gone. Over the wall and beyond.
The world shaded blue. I moved with haste, much to do. Down steps I descended, into the valley of light. I passed people unfamiliar. They gave no greeting but then I didn’t want one. A monument of flowers in a language I couldn’t read. I arrived at the weir where the waters shaped by man. I stayed there awhile as the light faded. On the other side a chainlink fence. This was my moment. I’d never asked for it but I’d brought it anyway. Here and now, time to break the chain.
As the stars first twinkled I journeyed on. The road grew dark and the path fell away. Soon I was lost amidst the trees. Yet the birds sang. Robins and wrens, sparrows and blackbirds. They flicked through trees around me. they knew they were free. A candle light shone ahead. I came at last to the shrine amidst the trees. I knew the river was close but heard it not. Past the shrine the trees closed in and all became black. This far, no further. Every step, turn back. No turning back. The sirens don’t have me yet.
There shall be a judge for every crime,
and whosoever sins shall be found.
Let them be stripped, pieces put on display,
their children taken away.
They shall be paraded before the people,
that all may see this is a sinner.
Then let the healing by hammer begin
the forge will burn their edges away.