In disappearing ink…
-- The Mountain Goats, “Lakeside View Apartment Suite”
A New Year’s Resolutions
To finally find the red ball that, half a century ago, sailed high over our heads into the thorny weeds of our neighbor’s backyard.
To walk each day the twilight fields beyond our house with such resolute humility the deer do not bother to scutter away but instead consent to demonstrate precisely how one slowly, slowly, bows one’s head in a solemnly orchestrated homage.
To speak plainly, without shenanigans or wordplay, without costume or cosmetics. To say dog for dog, love for love.
To welcome back not simply those we’ve sorely missed but those long ago and well forgotten, children wandering the halls of washed-away schools.
To be we again, not I, though we do not even know how to manage much more simple mathematical calculations: circumferences, square roots.
To find solace in forgiveness, even at the expense of a proper sentence, a dog set to barking only after the prowler has taken all he aims to steal.
To cease imagining certain inevitabilities: books never to be read, music never to be heard, beauty unregarded, unremarked.
To attend to the gentlest of rains, such slow and mournful songs, until the water overflows the garden’s cisterns, seeks gully, creek, and stream with a philospher’s resolve, a poet’s fervency.
To read and listen, to regard all beauty, with a scholar’s ardency, a penitent’s faith, even as each leaf slips from the branch: sentence and melody and shape become word and note and silhouette become form and sound and ash.
To wake Mr. Justice from his winter nap, ask his help in finding all we’ve lost: first, the red ball; afterward, the children wandering the washed-away halls; finally, the scrap upon which we scrawled this list.