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When You are Thirty Years Gone

I was the pond where you learned to swim
and later, after you pulled off my edges
and banks, a creek where wild things
came to rest, to give birth, to die.
You were a tree, a sapling growing too fast
into the far-away sky, reaching past me
with your swimmer's hands that learned
to grasp and clasp water, not caring
it left you nothing but drops like tears
across your itching palms.
I became your river, you tried to drown in me
but I always pushed and dragged you
back toward the shore that was our life,
together and apart, tethered and torn.
You would not root at last,
no nests were safe in your branches
as you sought the wind for release,
you fought the soil (me) that held you securely -
you took it for capture when in truth,
it was your only hold on Here.
I am your widow, you are alive somewhere
where you can grow and grow,
where you can see beyond your pain.
Why wasn't I enough?  I wish I could have
taken you down to the bottom of all I was,
drown you the way you wanted,
held you fast, showed you what it meant to me
to lose you over and over, to give up
being your salvation and becoming
only remembered lack of gravity and
arms that held and held and suddenly
let go.

23 Feb 17

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