“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
― Marcel Proust
I tell you I am aging relentlessly, thrown
open to the ocean air like a sash window
framed by peeling paint. That’s how it is.
But I have been held close, held up
into sunlight and moon wind, into branches
of old trees, held so tenderly and helped
to lean out over water rushing into death.
You and I are still alive. Don’t be afraid.
You know that life is hiding from us, though
we caught a glimpse this morning, where
it fell as a shaft of light across the floor.
It rose and flew like a moth down the long
hall and disappeared. As a child I saw
life fly in through the window while
morning arrived and my grandmother
was singing in another room. It fluttered
by and rested for a while on my hand.
The house is gone but not that room, not yet.
This candle’s tiny flame is all we know of fire,
no less than a sun, and all of time
is moving in this single clock. I wind it
twice a week and see behind the glass the marks
where Papa’s fingers brushed its face.
We do not die, his garden goes on forever.
So we can see him planting tomatoes
in a day of late spring resurrected,
swaying in green and yellow light.
A breeze parts Grandma’s linens drying on the line.
That day will live as long as we need it to.
From a distance he appears soft and kind
and now he is visible only at the focal length
of years. Seated on the sofa in an umber light
he sets his watch. Half past eternity. He looks
up at us as if to speak, but so much silence falls
between. Did he remember, as the evening
softened and grew dim, the cry of the dogs
through the tangled woods?
They always knew the dark road home.
Half Past Eternity by J. Kyle Kimberlin is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution-
NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.