From the archives – For Ed, Who Lost JD by Gabriel Welsch

For Ed, Who Lost JD

I drove the familiar tonight,
Berwyn to Lancaster, rutted route 30
through the once-nothing
studded with light, now-smaller fields
rotten with manure and heaped grass—
where once we raced your dad’s Renault
in the small hours, adrenalized
with pushing the meager limits
of our age and time. You sang
Johnny Cash with an abandon
I still cannot muster, and while I distrust
memory, I know these fields were empty,
that all I passed tonight—the halogen
gas stations, the glittering cul-de-sacs
like landing pads guttering in the dark—
all I passed had grown anew. We are rootless,
having moved from every place we ever lived,
now making some new place with people
we could not foresee, who came to love us,
awkward as we were and yet are,
wearing paths around us as your dog did,
as I read in your letter, who you had
to put down. I started at the line
you wrote, how his path in the yard remains,
though his feet no longer tell the dirt
of his domain. It will take years for grass to return,
and I think of you and that dog, you I have known
for so long, how you carry your depth
of hurt and care, how you hold tight
those you love, how you, without thinking,
give in to abandon, give in to what love
of other places, times, and things demands.
But now, I have decided to stop the cruelty
of trying to understand, and instead hold out
my hands, to gauge the weight of your grief.

from Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, February 17, 2015 — by Gabriel Welsch

Photo by Christine Klocek-Lim

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