To Wander Adrift

English: Washington Park Lake in Albany, New York

Washington Park Lake in Albany, New York (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

21 thoughts on “To Wander Adrift

  1. Beautiful, Joe…love the start of this ‘ The leaf-strained sunlight dappeled your cheeks
    like raindrops falling from the maples’ …lovely 🙂 xox

  2. nice how you weave nature and relationship together here joe… happy oln 100 – and talking of oln..thanks for the work you do in the’s much appreciated…smiles

  3. The end leaves more questions than answers, but also resolves in a way that something defined more precisely probably never could. There is a sense of futility, but also impatience with stagnation that comes through, under the dreamy sort of quality. Enjoyed it, Joe.

  4. I love how you look back at the strenght that somehow kept you together…and the end where I think you hint at that strength of relationship… beautifully described that I think it’s easy to relate to… very welll done.

  5. Eye contact comes later, when the maturation process has begun to flower, and our sense of self begins to be propped up by tiny victories, fellowship, and shards of genuine affection. We become better communicators when we access the doors to the soul; those eyes. Happy 100th OLN!

  6. The ending really intrigues me. One paddles away on rapids, the other putters in ever increasing circles. Sounds like the relationship was more one-sided.

  7. Survival is a silly thing – you either put all your effort to it, or let it slip your mind completely until later. The former usually results in self-destruction, while the latter – letting everything go as it would – actually results in survival surprisingly often. I adored the third stanza. Love the presence of nature; you, sir, have successfully pushed my poetic buttons. Thanks for the read, it was lovely!

  8. Such a sad story, Joe, well told, as ever you are capable of doing, but with a slightly optimistic conclusion. Hail.! The reluctant poet has found a ray of sunshine in his life!

    But, seriously, it’s been too long since I read some of yours, Joe, and here it is, as enjoyable to read as ever.

  9. I love this, Joe. So many questions, so many possible interpretations. Is it the lake talking to the stream; is it 2 people whose lives have taken different turns now? Fabulous and rich – and the opening lines are just delicious.

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