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[Grandfather]
Memories surface, thoughtless
as the rain on the metal roof where we listened,
as the heat released the scent of hay.

I see you standing
in my bedroom doorway,
from a farmer´s respect for sickness


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Some years later I discovered
a yearning for the unfamiliar,
and left the fields

for forests and the West.
With nothing at risk, I discovered
the pleasures of changing weather.


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After much time in that angular landscape
I settled on a mountain view
and the comfort of home.

One time, on a hike,
after more than a week in the wilderness,
I spoke to hear the sound of a voice.


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I called you, after this
to described the view from an overlook,
where power lines stretched over the grass of the plains,

toward the horizon. I remember
the perspective seemed flattened by distance; the converging lines
seemed a trick of dimension.


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I wanted to tell you that if I didn´t call more often
it was because I sensed we both understood silence
better than the strangeness of other lives.

Bordered as I was
by distances, I learned eventually to say, "Goodbye, I love you,"
at the end of a conversation, over the phone.


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I remember the silence of your hesitation,
before you said goodbye.
Once you said the words back -

muffled, clumsily -
your voice trying too hard
to say too much.


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At that sound, I knew your need,
your want, your unspoken longing
to shrink the complex geography -

to let the rain again lessen
the sun´s intensity.

1st know version Apr, 2002
Latest version Jun, 2007
This poem is nearing completion
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