My friend of long ago

Great umber and vermillion-tainted clouds heaved upward by the summer winds that rolled across the prairies. The tepid air pushed by lazy gusts crept up behind my back and took me to that place where faded memories turn in restless sleep.

Then my path, it snaked its way around a gentle bend and next my heart began to sadden as I gazed upon the village that had changed my life so much.

To die – at least that person that had long abandoned me had somehow gone astray and left me now a broken man. Long ago that solitary sole had disappeared as the ravens gathered and prepared to fly.

What he thought he had, he gave; his humor cut the brush along his winding passageway and now I sit and gaze upon that simple settlement that once he called his home.

He grew and came to learn of life through dim and hazy visions, but that raw unseasoned boy, so strong and young and full of life, was nothing but a slave to time – with eyes so wild he could not see the truth.

Swept away in cultures of unrest – it wasn’t noble, but to be a part of others who were thought were true. And they were walking all abreast – with righteous pace and indignation too – at least that’s what he thought or wanted to believe.

Beneath the years of grind and clouds of pall I sit and wonder – where did that young man go? I know he stood amongst the noble and the tall; just what he heard and saw is not precisely clear.

And overhead the falcon wheels, she casts her shadow cross my face and I look down upon the colony of AIM-less souls – and there his ghost a silhouette of hapless, hopeless innocents.

Oh, he never dreamt the tracks he left behind would ever disappear – I know he always wished they would, but from my broken-hearted perch I see and feel the eyes of spirits; they rest so heavy on my shoulders now – for when he left he left me with a burden that I proudly carry on.

I rose to walk away – my eyes too tired for my twilight stroll – yet I did see: those reckless times, that passion fueled by youth, those foolish blunders, that would follow him through life.

Always in my shadow – are the memories of those days when life was plenty and we knew not better ways.

I have no sense of when my young friend died – but I shall always miss his joyful heart, and share a saddened smile at times when tainted clouds return.

And as my visit to that hilltop fades away and pain returns to mingle with my aging bones, I pray to fall asleep so deep to keep my melancholy spirits – hopefully to ebb and go away.

(© 2015, M.Battese)

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