Monday, December 28, 2009

The Rhinecliff Arms

for Linda drinking champagne

Half Irish and Half Iroquois?
Half Elfin ... what I would have said:
Please (kiss me) Please? -- I'd call, but oy
My cell don't work at Jadis in
The shadow of Mt. Guardian

You looked so pretty in dark pink --
Dark hair dark eyes; you know I think
You're beautiful? Three girls
Were dancing near the fiddlers
While I watched: you, Linda, smile
While ordering your "usual" --
Champagne. Again.
You ate alone.

I can't find Rhinecliff, it's too far
to bike in winter, I should think -- nor
Can I teach you: How to plan
To find and keep a loving man?
Study "le Tantra?"? the Twilight
Language? of the Hudson going gray
On this chill early winter night
While children dance and fiddlers play ...

Old men can painfully regret
All things that have not happened yet:
(Don't be afraid. Don't be afraid)
All things the dear God will have made.

I know you know
Men may tell lies:
(the beauty I see in your eyes ...
reminds me of Mead's Meadow where
My glider rose while we all stared
To watch it flying out of sight)
(You know I really hoped you might)

I don't need sprightly Irish tunes
To know there'll be more Linda soon
Than drinking dry champagne alone ...
There will be children running home
To warm dark eyes, and to her stew
Of light and love and laughter too

Funny, isn't it, that we
Met for a moment, suddenly:
Me so homeless, you
So full of home ...?

I write sometimes about missing
Women I won't meet again --
(Who might have loved me?) Linda now

Don't cry; you were too young for me --
Despite which, I believed in thee

-- Christian Gehman

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