Funny, what I remember
– “Exit, pursued by a bear – best stage direction ever,”
then a one-cheek Duck Soup laugh.
Cigarettes, brown straw hair, jeans, plaid shirts not lately laundered.

Stuff of the ordinary.

Extraordinary – compelling me to begin again all these years later.
I still see you cool, half-propped on desk’s corner, book in hand,
Appearance belying thoughts. Still intent and slightly cracked,
But genuine. The words come
Mind to paper, eyes, then breath. You would likely criticize,
“Some readers would like you to come to a point more quickly.”
Sad that’s all that’s here to push, guide.
I can’t return triumphant —
Find you perched on that desk, all I was too shy to say
Saying now, as praise, thanks, sympathy, admiration.
The conversation begins, this small step that I take with
the cup offered to a friend.

In memory of Ford Swetnam