The shadows ring with noise.
It’s time’s breath, which grows
Louder even as it makes other
Sounds, like my mother’s voice,
Fade into hushing light. No, nothing
Fades. Things are observed
Like shadows. Just as this
Poem is not about fading
But uses ‘fade’ four times,
So our lives use the words
Of things we’re not about
To frame what’s
Four times denied,
Four times forgiven, four times
Larger than what appears real,
Like shadows on a late afternoon
Just past rain, where loneliness puddles
And is stepped over by those on their way.
Have always been drawn to the number 4 – of course I’ve read this through 4 times – drawn also to the play between fade and shadow, “puddling” in my mind, all the while realizing this is not about fading or shadows, but loneliness. Which merits a lot more respect than most grant it. Indeed, we deny it, try to block it. I am learning to forgive its insistence in the midst of daily life. Before reading this, I did not call it “loneliness” – thank you for the gentle wake-up.
I really, really like this poem, Jeff.
Thank you, E!
I love the movement of the long sentence that starts with “Just as this…”