Saturday, June 13, 2015

"happier now, of course" (a poem about endings)

I remember --
   a pen that my grandfather gave me
And I remember the day its ink ran out.

The last few lines,
    scratched desperately on a journal page
    the last letters fading into grooves.

I am happier now, of course,
   and yet something in my fingers
   remembers the gift,
   and misses that desperate scratching --
     word upon word
     wound upon wound --
   in the time before I knew words like:
      diurnal variation.

I remember --
   a self-styled holy man
   expansive beard and booming voice
   declaring to a crowded auditorium:

"We are like this pen,
    useful for God as a writing tool
    but easy to cast aside when we are dried up."

Thrown away when no longer useful, he said.

And I remember --
   saying to myself,

"That is not faith."

Faith, you see, looks forward in hope and,
  in times of dryness and fading
             imagines the poems that are yet to come.