This Is What Life Does

This is what life does. It takes you
to a conference at an arboretum where
you sit in back so you can stare out
the window at trees and birds at their
feeders. When people start introducing
themselves, life lets you remember
the guy who stands up in front,
the one who last whispered
good night to you forty years
ago. Then it gives you courage
to seek him at the coffee break
so you can hear him say I’ve always
wondered what happened to you.
But it’s under trees over lunch
that life lets you pick up loose
threads, patch the gaps, and stitch
a fresh connection. And then,
life makes you wait some more.

Out of the blue, a phone call,
an invitation to spend a day at the family
cottage on a lake. There is no hesitation
in your answer. Armed with poems,
sandwiches and soup, you follow
the curving string of a country road
on a treasure hunt. Lakeside vacation
homes cram the lanes until you cross
a bridge to find a quaint cottage on
a point. There, life lets you breathe.

A day of canoeing, poetry, song and
conversation. You smile when he edges
closer to see photos on your camera. And when
you are ready to leave, you feel fire
burning in his sparkling eyes,
his body trembling to hold you.

Anne Randolph’s poems have been published in the following journals: Plainsongs, The Storyteller, Mad Poet’s Review, The Chaffin Journal and Willow Review. She has studied poetry at Wittenberg University, and has participated in the Antioch Writer’s Workshop.