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A song of Letting Go, … or Not


Pictures on the Wall
Rick Drost, May 2014

A board of pinned up souvenirs, upstairs in a forgotten room.
I’d passed them by these many years; I thought I should go through them.

Here, A steeple draws my eye
To sky scrubbed clean with cotton clouds
The Pilgrim church where you and I
Would read our poems; say our vows
Next, a Formal on great stairs ‘mid family friends and flowers
If we had doubts we didn’t know it;
If we knew, we didn’t show it

St Francesca of San Marco, pigeons in your hair
Running down the beach with gulls,
You’re almost in the air
Next, Astride a cannon in the fort in Nova Scotia (British) removed
Elysees, Galatoires, Ocean City BumperCars

Pacific Tides would pull you
I tried but couldn’t hold you
No picture when you said “you’ve done your best, I just can’t stay”
No picture as we loaded full or, load your little wagon for the West
Your wagon for the West.
I rode with you to Omaha and kissed you on your way

Here’s the postcard that you sent from Reykjavik last year
Traveling with new family, found contentment now I hear
In your Mother’s town, now
No more steeple in the square:
Clapboards, yewtrees,
Bulldozed down; just concrete condos there.


One more photo on the sofa
This one I might keep
Velvet Elvis, dogs, cat, you
All curled up in a happy heap
That was then: then was Golden
Sheaves of Love and Laughter
This is Now: Then is done
But Now reopens after all
With trembling fingers, one by one
I’m Tearing down these pictures on the wall...