He was headed up the road smiling,
wearing a short-sleeved 1950s Hawaiian shirt—
a faded, light print on heavy, coarse muslin
with cuffs—happy with heaven or
from wherever he’d come.

He had time, an eternity—
wanted to see the barren heifers
you grain-fed, killed and gutted,
see the color of the fat—stopped-in
to ask me to go with him.

Years mean nothing in a dream.
We can replay, edit as we like,
take time-outs to maneuver the maze
of surprise details and survive
the fears we’ve disguised wide awake.

Some of the close ones arrive to reassure us
that they are well after escaping life—
that all we had hoped for them,
and they for themselves, exists within—
and from wherever they’ve come.


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