You asked of late how I was,
I failed to answer.
I was in the company of Misery,
But not to fret;
Misery has been my companion long these short 62 years.
We are old close-kept friends,
But such marvelous blues:
Steel, royal, sky, ice, midnight,
And the pale blue-white of late sunset:
A miserable color as neither pure nor hearkening of dark.
But my friend—
I am well enough to run a half-mile
And smart enough to take a dosage of sufficient aspirin;
I no longer hurt so much,
But for the loneliness.
Misery shares such liberally with me,
We both explore the Small Empty.
In the fullness of Time I have shared great times
And small reverses with co-workers and patients and their families,
But no more.
I’m in between opportunities,
So I remain,
He put the car in drive,
Out the driveway towards Albert Lane,
It would be a new 12 days to pass
Before seeing his daughter again.
He left the window open a crack;
Perhaps she’d forget something and would call?
No, he didn’t like dropping her at Fablehaven;
No, not really, not actually much at all.
His role snap-changed to just an aging man
When moments before he was in a family.
So what if it was only a family in two—
It was all he had here so far west of St. Tammany.
The tears dried absent just as expected,
With old long practice at things not being as one wanted.
Some would exalt giddy at this free, single life,
But he didn’t think that this kind of alone was all that vaunted.
Turning back to home on Glencrest Drive
As another Sunday evening purpled into dark,
He allowed a thought that it was perhaps okay—
And put the car in park.
Can anyone hear this?
Am I all alone?
What crime did I commit?
For what must I atone?
I am so lonely,
But I’ve got integrity worse;
Falling for the wrong heart
Seems to be my biggest curse.
My orbit distends,
A longing galactic pulls;
The sadness latterly arises
Darkening thin cheerful lulls.
But boundaries are
Just as boundaries should be:
Maybe our paths will cross
When we are free ethically.
Then I’ll be really happy
To see you once again
When it won’t matter
If you’d rate this visit a ten.
The light followed the star over the hill
As the fog rolled in with the cold
Twas a different kind of Christmas story
At least as far as I remember what I was told
A deep abiding affection afflicted the old man
And finally had the means to fulfill a promise
And many, many lonely miles he did trudge to deliver
A last bouquet of daisies to lay before his one fair miss
In younger, luckier days our man had paid fervent troth
To she who now dwelt in yon granite sarcophagus,
But a wrong spoken word had ended it all forever;
Such a piteous loss as to be endured by any one of us.
But our Vanity is a grievously jealous mistress;
And he could not, would not forgive, the slight by his true love.
Such tragedy our old man had scripted in a cold bile ink,
Disparaging of her and placing his wounded veil above.
Carole, the second beauty born of Marble Falls
On one lank Christmas Day between the great wars,
Loved above all Nature’s beauties the blue daisy—
She would fill her Mother’s pots, trestles, and jars.
Silas, our poor fool from a far crescent city east,
Would bring bouquets of blue daisies to ply his troth,
And won her heart, and a date sure was firmly set—
What could possibly set aside such as this Love’s oath?
A sorry, sad mistake came to undo our lover’s story:
Carole observed unartfully our Silas over harsh tone:
As blasted to the quick, Silas cast off his cheery mantle,
And demanded keenly by Carole to be left forever alone!
Oh, Silas! One word passed without art has chilled thee so?
And bereft of her future, our shaken Carole turned to leave.
Only alone, later in his poor ivory tower of hot wind and pride
Would he see his error and allow himself to grieve.
Carole, the second beauty born of Marble Falls,
Would later, at last, marry fairly well, if not too grand.
Silas, alone, tended to his vanity and found old age,
But twas Carole to first find her final rest at Death’s hand.
Silas, hearing of Carole’s passing, fell slow to his knees
And swore a prideless oath to take every Christmas Day,
In honor of Carole, his cast-off joy, a last birthday gift:
A simple arrangement in a pristine blue daisy bouquet.
The light faded over the hill after the star found its new home.
The old man had placed his bouquet when his heart beat its last.
The fog blanketed the granite and the bouquet and the sad.
Is loneliness the grand prize for a wrong word lost to the past?
Not all Christmases are all tinsel and cheer—
Silas and Carole speak to us in more mature themes.
Please, this Yule, find it inside you to forgive and forget
Or woe may scuttle your fonder, finer, future dreams.