The Empty Nest

With so easy an acquaintance as the one we have
like well-worn shoes
surely, neither of us need worry
over the holes in our socks.
Only,
I can’t help notice
when I look at the hole
in yours
that it seems wider and depression precarious
to those toes which used to be
held in.
Is there nothing to do
in the way of fixing it?
Of stitching it?
Enriching it,
by perhaps adding a bit more
material now?
You laugh at the thought
of new material
and this makes me want to cry.
Why patch a garment worn threadbare
from the scrapings and the
lashings of the thousand miles
walked in these moccasins?
After all, once upon a time ago they
were spectacularly reinforced at the
heels and the toes.
Stitched magnificently with new-life green threads
of need and action.
When we were needed.
And now, do we need action?
No, surely we don’t desire it,
not now,
not at this age,
when the path behind is ornately azure
and the path ahead is monochrome grey.
We like it. Right?
Two old friends and
travelers,
familiar with the winds,
and windings,
and wins
and losses.
Once we created luxurious lace,
tatted together for tomorrow’s trousseaus.
Lovingly handmade and appliqued with
homespun meals and sweat and tears and
prayers and hope.
As our watchmen eyes were glued to the
open draw-bridge where we stood
guarding the castle from the encroaching
world—wishing to pillage and capture
and kidnap our kings and queens.
Exposed to every violent element,
worry splinter-stormed into our faces;
we awaited their returns from their excursions.
We refused to close the gate and
denied our exhausted, traitorous selves
sleep until the last traveler
rode wearily over the castle stones
safe inside our battlements again.
Yet, now the court has vanished and
abandoned our enchanted castle
to seek that fickle mistress fame–
and fortune–and hopefully
damsels and princes to take and make
their own castles.
These moccasins, worn soft as butter,
by the thousand miles walked
over the hard red clay of baking,
through the freshly mulched garden
of happy-tilled earth and family
topsoil,
No longer leave even a grease spot
on the scorched earth
of our once life.
Thirty years of stones and bones
are worn away and now
a generation has trickled through our fingers
and we’ve savored the blood, but
like dry gourds, failed to hold on to
any moisture.
Rattle us now, and the dry seeds
of memories and stories will
fall with the sound of rain
through our outstretched necks
and inside our cavernous empty wombs
and rooms
Still, you and I have always
been shameless gamblers,
sometimes lucky in love,
in life,
in losses.
How lucky to have each other
at a time like this.
Two holes
in the stocking of friendship.
Friendship.
It requires me to ask:
How are you really doing?

What are you looking for?