Between You and Me
Across the river
There is a view of grass coming into spring
And a few burnt tree trunks form the entrance
Of a dark forest that might go on forever.
I look out the window, wanting to
Talk to the passing birds about their travels
And how I can meet them there.
But I don’t. I sip on green tea instead, and,
Warming, picture myself across the way.
I have found someone there.
Every morning he drops to his knees and
Prostrates, and the mountain comes to him.
Man and mountain are reacquainted in exactly
This way each time, in the cold predawn morning,
Before the man has his morning rice and the
Mountain moves onto the business of Being.
I can see his house behind him, the strong
Wooden beams, the thatched roof mirroring
The mountain behind it. I imagine this man as a
Solitary king, master of the wind, of sacred hope.
This hope fills me.
From where I am, mountain and man unite.
They both invoke in me a fire that they alone,
As they know they can, hold, nurture and protect.
Cedars grow tall toward a temple for the gods.
A train passes by, making soothing sounds.
The curtains framing my window make me restless, and
The photograph on the opposite wall makes me want
To visit Tuscan places and grow flowers from my head.
I think I have been moving too much. I even
Imagine the mountain taunting me, and become angry
At how many things elude me.
So, I look for the man again, as this day begins.
This time, I catch the trees playing in the sun.
Like the trees, I sit still, sun-facing, absorbing its life.
I watch my own life come and go as I breathe.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Author’s Own