VISIT WITH LONG LOST TRUE AMIGO JUAN VALDEZ

Sorting through the sensations
after a long time and many miles
traversing the nation
while the dark drums of another war are beating
on these shores and out in the heartland
while also great joy is erupting from seeing this good old amigo
again
in the flesh             whole and standing on this very spot  
an embrace as quick confirmation
that we are truly here                 that laugh I’d know anywhere
astounded that
we are once more walking down this street together
in a tiny town neither of us know
except from an old TV show
now here                almost like magic
like two ghosts limping a little these days
looking and listening to each other
pretending we’re up here in Alaska
doing whatever we can to catch up                taking stock
and putting pieces of our stories together
erasing the gaps               and having it all make sense
the best we can
A heart attack here                     loved ones suffering there
or driving us batty making us sweat
classmates doing this and that
women who have stayed by our side all this time
for an ironclad reason only they know
a baby conceived “by accident”
trees falling down on this home sweet home by the river
and other stories that bring down the house
with tender amusement
Completing a picture from this jigsaw puzzle
of missing minutes and years and proximity
Trying not to forget anything
in this rush of time we’ve been allotted
on this left coast we both adore
coming out of the woods here
making lists of questions and details to relate
Scratching memories and sniffing
what’s still there
Still holding some sweet perfume of long-gone days
of echoes of sermons from the giant that begat me
and blessed be the beatitudes and those who accept them
of hymns sung and amens called out in unison from every pew
even from the balcony looking down on the faithful
on our staid compatriots staying close to each other
in their only town in the world.
But time is flying again
as non-stop as ever
Viejo amigo having to fly again too
and we are dealing with the inevitable depletion of joy
and creeping in of several molecules of pain
from breaking apart once more and floating away
thank goodness for technology
and digital code through cables and thin air
satisfying the itch            the deep yen
to keep in touch
as they say             as they prescribe
with no touching actually involved whatsoever
but God bless the effort
the reaching out               the back and forth
and an occasional laugh.

6.12.21

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