Think Back to When

Think Back To When

We wore our hearts on our sleeves.

It was like an ID that anyone could see,

like carrying a bouquet of flowers

to one’s first girl,

that stepping out moment

about which one could not only be proud, but ostentatious;

and each moment then was like the presentation

of a great play.

It was as though there was dancing in the streets.

Smiles were not secret.

Even stray dogs wagged their tails,

came to us to be petted.

Such was the quality of youth

that we exhibited,

like an artist at his first show

before the negation that morning proffered.

Inevitable, of course.

Even the finest machines

wear down: That great car begins to smoke;

The computer becomes constipated,

its hard drive just stuffed to the gills.

Like spontaneous combustion: natural, inescapable.

Like that amazing chronometer, conceived by Archimedes,

which was recently dredged up from the Aegean,

retrieved from a sunken trireme,

rusted, almost unrecognizable.

Hoyle was incorrect.

The universe is neither static, nor stable.

It is not something about which one should hold one’s breath.

Ends are a normal consequence whenever there is a beginning.

Piles of trash will cover the Earth,

and no one will take it away.

It is a nice, but spooky, feeling to think back to when we were cuddly,

even when we had put on sweaters

and were huddled together to keep warm.

One characteristic of these cold northern winters

is that one’s feelings, after such blatant exhibitionism,

can be so easily disguised; even withdrawn.

Just pull the drawstrings on your hood

and you are as separate as stars, as galaxies

that are so distant they are invisible to one another.

Sweaters have this quality.

They cover up those messy hearts on our shirt sleeves.