Chances are, I have already lived
half my life.
That is a sobering thought. So, to compensate
I conjure up childhood memories.
These seem either cloudy with the mist of Niagara Falls,
or snappy and crisp, like blue-tinged Ontario icicles.
Dad stopping the car so mom can pick them
for me to eat as we drive on towards Stoney Creek.
Meeting Mickey Mouse.
Breathlessly peering over the edge of Hoover Dam.
Crying over a lost balloon at Circus! Circus!
How the smell of green peppers would make me sneeze.
Navigating my first bicycle into a spool of barbwire.
Bees buzzing inside a pop bottle high above Peyto Lake.
Shirtless summers, taking lunch out to dad in the field;
how warm was the mason jar of coffee
when passed to him.
Skating on the Thom Oval with my sister until
both our brains froze themselves solid upon the thought
that we owned the world.
All this time, in a pool of darkness
lies my heart.
Never seeing the light of day, pupils fully dilated;
frantic about some mystery it keeps to itself.
Spasming over a secret
even while I sleep.
Utterly unconcerned with my awareness, it remains
intent upon squishing itself to death,
as though the end of the world is nigh.
Wha-whumpa. Wha-whumpa. Wha-whumpa!
Forcing deep-blue life along thousands of miles
of seamless pipeline, as quiet as snowfall.
Life returning from the extremities
without question or complaint,
to this amazing half-pound of meat
that has a mind of its own.
This involuntary muscle.
This is how things have been
half my life.
But today I saw my heart looking up at me. I saw
the inverted V’s of its mad scientist bushy eyebrows;
valves flapping wildly, gesticulating
that it has only half done what it was designed to do.
It is astounding that something so silent
about everything else it does
can be so candid when moving a message
a foot and a half uphill.
Today, when I get still, and listen
I sense the thrice-beaten refrain…
Love someone. Love someone. Love someone!
© Ciprianowords Inc. 2006