a poet’s horizons

Note: Dr. Gary Wade is a 1966 graduate of Seymour High, an ecologist with US Forest Service Research, a resident of the Pacific northwest and a poet. When we asked him to write a guest post in our November travel series, he agreed and sent us the following poem–one he describes as “an old poem written for a friend in the throes of hot flashes.” So, here’s to all of us traveling into that paradoxical territory of aging and to poets with trusty word compasses. Thanks, Gary. 


I like as well my view of you
since I misplaced my glasses,
though I see less well the seasoning gray
within your midnight hair,
laughter lines above your cheek,
the incipient down of matronly mustache
and a mark near your ear
from a third-grade playground swing.

I hear as well
your hmmm when you read
the second paragraph of anything,
your small laugh of pleased surprise, and
the crinkling of wrappers
on saltwater taffy that you gave me
from what a friend sent you from Delaware.

I taste as well
the slice of apple
you pass across the table at lunch
and the mushrooms you pile on the edge of my plate
on Chinese day.

Those glasses cost a hundred-forty-two dollars
but I found owning them too expensive,
and so I lost them
so I can  see you
as through an old window
that rain runs down in August
to blur the lines of intruding autumn.

True affection needs not accuracy
and minute points revealed.
Remembering draws the finer lines
in life at middle age –
I don’t need aid to see
that when you smile
your life shines through.

© 1996 Gary Wade


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