It’s the easiest thing to say
In the grey light of thinning hair:
I liked the world the way it was-
If only it had held steady
Time would be unchanging bliss!
What is it you so fondly remember
Amidst the glitches in recollection?
An album of snapshots,
Some video clips at best.
The mood that binds them together
Like an invisible rubber band
Comes out of a pocket you’re wearing out now.
Maybe you can see
Clearer than your fast-fading fate line
An arched gate confettied with creepers
Golden green in early morning light,
Maybe your olfactories thrill
At the musky odor of blossoms
On a long-dead mango tree.
Or a remembered tale may set you
Dream-walking down village tracks
After a hurricane lantern swinging
Beneath a bullock cart’s creaking chassis
Like a luminous pineapple…or scrotum.
But don’t forget:
Calm cannot be retroactive.
The willed insouciance of youth
Crumpled before manic urgencies.
Why look back on such routine tussles?
From the bottom of the well
One can only look up.
Not that a benign gaze answers:
The twinkling could be tinsel
And lights no superior tomorrow.
Better just carve a squiggle
On softening grey timber
At amber-grey dusk
And hum under your breath:
I like it the way it is.