Sunday, September 6, 2009

Darkness In the White Snow

In amongst the revelers, experts of the slopes,
the old man found himself alone
in powder the first day after the night storm:
Family had departed for duties;
the friend to join him had demurred:
the old man was alone
in white white.
He drudged through day one alone,
fighting through the powder,
feeling the muscles ache,
stiffened by age;
no running through the hills or
on the beach;
he left the slopes early,
taking a nap;
rested, he visited an old haunt:
like the newspaper man he was at heart,
returning to a bar
just like the old days
except there was no newspaper;
the stories were his, not reports for newsprint,
with the old gent tossing down
old fashions with the best of them.
day two, on the second run downhill,
the old man decided
to cut his trip short,
dedicating the day to old times:
he hit the slopes early:
He rode to the top;
skied, skied
even better than he could remember:
he had always hit the slopes
like a linebacker,
but this day he conquered the longest runs,
flowing gracefully down the gradient
on newly groomed slopes of elegance
of white on white
until age caught up
and he fell ingloriously
down the slope.
Picking himself up, he thought:
“time to go,” and he went.

Packing, he decided to have one last brew
at a local bar across the street
Sitting there, he reveled in aloneness,
before he caught the van
to the cavernous airport,
much like the old bus depots
he had spent waiting in his youth;
SLC the code called it;
and he caught the plane,
leaving aloneness behind him.
Time had stopped in his aloneness;
he wandered around in his mind
as he moved
down the slope,
onto the barstool,
into the terminal,
on the plane;
he dreamed of her, a reality,
but something he could not touch;
when he saw her in his dream,
he saw the past,
even while swishing down the slopes,
he would feel the old dog with him,
the ports of call,
the realities of ships at sea
a long, long time ago
they all seemed to fit
with the image of his muse,
which he had long abandoned
for cynicism.
On the plane ride back,
he looked out the small port
at the black sky,
she had been there
and would likely be there for a long time,
someone he could not touch,
could not have
as old men have young friends,
he wondered
if he could be good for her,
he realized
was probably all that really mattered.

Bonita, California
March 28, 2007

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