The leaf-strained sunlight dappled your cheeks
like raindrops falling from the maples,
as we wandered through the park and looped ’round
the green-skimmed pond that had become
a metaphor for the river of my life.
Seldom did I look at you as we complained
our individual existences. There was a discomfort
in our eye-to-eye connection, as if
those sundrops ricocheted from your face
to my eyes, draining them down onto my shoetops.
When I did look up, you would break the connection,
its annoying chemistry stinging on your lashes.
And every noon-time, the tower bells would peal
“Happy Birthday to You,” as that morning died
and the sun passed overhead on its way
to some western demise. We would sometimes
wave goodbye as you buffeted away upon your rapids,
your head tossed back in a smile,
and I slowly puttered in ever-shrinking circles
there in the turgid algae of my torporous eddy.
I shake my head when I think how
each of us escaped those days when
we easily could have pulled the other under.