RETROGRADE

                            This isn’t a brave new world but one finally revealed.
                                                        – Jim Harrison (“Suite of Unreason”)

Horses watch for morning movement,
hear the door, plod towards the manger
and wait, each reconnoiters his established place
beneath a rain of green alfalfa leaf
without thinking. And when the time comes,
an old horse expects his daily grain.

Basic routines become benefits of age,
habits replacing failing memories, we feed
ourselves and others by rote, day after day—
minds free to chase more important things
revealed in our lapses, that common path trod
among a diversified mob of simple beings.

O’ that fresh touch of youth, the confusion
of dreams, wild pushed to uncharted expectations
that now fade to legendary embellishments
defying wisdom, or ownership, much less
common sense—we lived on the edge
of our every sensation, believing we had wings.

Now that we have lost our selfishness,
our center to a universe of starlight winking
much the same during our quick stay
on this planet, this earth alive
with the whimpers of birth and death,
we walk upon another landscape.

Is this our promised land of forgetfulness,
our sins discharged to disconnected gray
matter? We hold one another closely
and find comfort with what our short time
has proven, and unveiled as the real world
to explore: simple beings to find our way.

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