Abduction on the Canyon Rim Trail
I don’t expect
a soupy river to steal you away.
White blood cells explode into whitewater,
filaments of breath sweep
A confounding disappearance into
the thundering confluence.
I fail to see
how water wears down rock.
A little old man syndrome,
your yielding to midday naps
belching thumps, your laboring heart
on an uphill climb.
Perhaps it’s easier to deny the beginning
of an end.
An innocent hike, rimming
the canyon like rust
brings you to the edge.
I feel you slip.
Like afternoon sun’s toothed shadow
on rock, you fade
in descent to horizon.
I shout to the current,
I don’t want to lose you!
You just smile.
Already, your rapids riding
After all, isn’t her salon, a refuge
from your household-turned-circus?
A timeout in the crush of work?
Dreary drab sends you to the chair every time.
She could be a bartender serving
tonics to counteract an oblivious spouse.
Eyes in the mirror — on yours.
What are we doing today?
even as she knows the color of your world,
kinks in need of straightening.
Intimate fingers massage your scalp.
You open, relief like an upwell of tears.
She weaves absolution,
wraps your head, puts you under heat
where you must
do nothing. Finally.
Shears thin your heaviness,
confessions spill onto the floor. She attends
to inflection, the settling of a body into its space.
Hands stop occasionally to share
what goes down in her household,
You cackle at her jokes like a hen on an egg,
catch threads of wisdom midair.
wings lift your psyche.
You want to hug this magician-therapist.
Instead, you schedule a next time,
pay her, say good-bye.
all your secrets in her vault.
Martin leans against my bedroom wall
longing to be held.
I take him, rest my chin
on his slim body,
run my fingers down his
long neck in mellow song.
Together many years,
some turbulent, some true
like the tchjk tchjk of an old train, steady.
Timeless, his sound resonates within.
Destined to be my passport,
transport me elsewhere…
Fingerpicking, notes graze
my skin, plink plink, like rain.
Untethered melodies of youth,
a not-knowing-what-I-don’t-know yields
to down strums, syncopated,
surging rhythm, coming undone.
When did schedules drop curtain
on that act? Random Raffi tunes or
conventional Christmas carols rise
from strings, like votives wavering.
A yearning. Sweet chords,
bring me back to myself.
Time in the dark
he waits. Me — long gone,
hands unable to find my way.
Melody still hangs in the air,
begs to merge, my voice,
echoes the empty highway.
Decades, still searching,
I reach for Martin,
steadfast companion. That old train,
this time, homeward bound.
Savior in black casing.
Help me sing my song.