Single file, like in the native's way
to hide numbers and mourn in a slow peace.

The leftover and forward
once again make sign to a favorite son.

They pause and worship a clay idol,
as much contrite as devoted.

Forgive me friend their eyes say,
"I was not there".

Or, forget me friend,
"There was more than I could handle".

The idol responds to the
deep wishes of their heart,

projecting back upon the somber
all that they desire.

They will carry now a piece,
each a piece of the pain

and nurture a wound in proportion
to what their projection's demand.

For TJ, for myself

That I may remember the man and the moment

during sunny-side soon-eves,
we stood thoughtful, wondering:
are there waders in the offing?

with blasted hollow tethers 
beneath us sounding depths.
and rickety planks, the boundless energy 
fusing one in to the other,
over and above a customary step.

"I've a mind to dive!"
and set self-sinking in the sludge
to wrest from this paralytic 
a darkened grip fathoms below
the surface plain.

Cheapened talk then, hearty to me now,
but arresting a bold effort.
Here lies a preface to a promise:
reclamation of that tether.

Time was time did not matter;
only the attempt,
to attempt anything was a living proof.

With dynamism, accoutrements,
and slipping awkwardly beneath the still;
all weight shifting,
cask like,
then pushing and probing a wasteland.

Mine eyes were weak there.
That trait so roundly prized
owed nothing from the deep
and so, received nothing just.

Cutting through surface slop,
wrapped in film,
a grin resting familiarly with
the ferocity of youthful error.

Failure?  But a moment.
Success as well,
and a bond formed fit and deep
worked its way inside.