I was talking to a friend after months, and at different points we discovered we weren’t listening to each other at all and we acknowledged this silently; we both fell out of the conversation like things flying backwards out of train windows in slow motion.
We’re puzzled and being as frank as we are with each other but also wondering about how we’re changing and not entirely sure how to respond to the sort of things that have begun to worry us a bit more lately: No-money-no-travel, yes-i’m-tired-tired, now-what on mute, yes-i-know, i-don’t-know, maybe, i-don’t-know, did-we-think-about-this-ever-before, what’s-going-on.
Billy Collins to the rescue!
While Eating a Pear
After we have finished here,
the world will continue its quiet turning,
and the days and months will pass
without the names of Norse and Roman gods.
Time will go by the way it did
before history, pure and unnoticed,
a mystery that arose between the sun and moon
before there was a word
for dawn or noon or midnight,
before there were names for the earth’s
when fruit hung anonymously
from scattered groves of trees,
light on the smooth green side,
shadow on the other.
All we need is fourteen lines, well, thirteen now,
and after this one just a dozen
to launch a little ship on love’s storm-tossed seas,
then only ten more left like rows of beans.
How easily it goes unless you get Elizabethan
and insist the iambic bongos must be played
and rhymes positioned at the ends of lines,
one for every station of the cross.
But hang on here wile we make the turn
into the final six where all will be resolved,
where longing and heartache will find an end,
where Laura will tell Petrarch to put down his pen,
take off those crazy medieval tights,
blow out the lights, and come at last to bed.