COME AWAY: THREE POEMS*
It does haunt one’s reverie
like an old melody’s refrain,
it is a way but not away. But
where is away? A memory,
perchance a lingering pain?
Distance-given right to know
erases world’s away, rebuilds
them only as far as a pebble
skips and skims over eddies
on roiled water: See old faces?
Etched on beach sand, away
is a heart pierced through
by an arrant arrow called Luv
and a spray of trickling angst
named Will or blood bubbles.
Or a nodding gran chanting
on her beads wishing shadows
on her walls at sundown might
jump out where they grow tall
and call out: Granny, I’m back!
Maybe an unreachable land,
then, endlessly dark, no sun
creating rainbows, no showers
lads and lasses run through
naked and free, cold but happy.
When are you coming back
from the front, son? Sometime
soon, before mom fades away?
Where is this Viet Nam? Iraq?
Afghanistan, Pakistan? Somalia?
Will you take the midnight train,
Betty, and be home Christmas?
Me and the gang, we will throw
a party at the Metro, wait for you,
gulp suds for every train whistle.
I guess he will not be around
for my umpteenth birthday, mom.
You invited him, did you not, he
and that woman in Denver? I
just have to wait by the window.
Is grandpa going fishing with me?
Like last summer, he will drive in
on his old Studebaker, clanking
with a loose tail pipe over cobbles
on our street. Will he? Won’t he?
I will not be away for a long time,
not too long. Before you know it,
some 10,000 sleeps from now, we
will be bowling again in St. Peter’s
Alley, cracking lightning and thunder.
Come away then, come away, while
we can, let’s run through valleys,
swim the rivers with the catfish,
slalom down those snowbound hills.
Come away, Love, to some place away.
--- ALBERT B. CASUGA
* The poems above were prompted by lines from Hannah Stephenson’s “Away”. Throw it away, / we say, but where/ does this directive/ lead. Where is/ away. We know it/ suggests distance/ and removal, that/ the thrown thing/is no longer visible/ or retrievable. --- From “Away” by Hannah Stephenson, The Storialist, 1—20-11