There is a chasm that has ever been between us
Where once I stood so close upon the edge.
My side, with all my baggage piled around me
And you, facing me, enticing me, with wide stretched arms.
Should I have stepped across that gap and left my past?
It was but only one long stride… a little more
And I would have… or could perhaps, have reached you.
I looked across at you, sparkling in the morning sunlight
A vision of homecoming, of peace and love;
But as I teetered on the brink,
A pebble freed itself from near my feet
And plunged towards the bottom of that abyss
And I withdrew to safer ground. Withdrew to safer ground.
And there you stood, still, in the morning sun,
Holding out your hand
And offering a stick to me… “I’ll be your walking stick;
Come here to me; rest your hand upon my shoulder;
I’ll be your stick,” and still you beckoned me to your side.
To join you. To join you on that other side.
Yet now that chasm has an aspect I’d not seen…
A new dimension I had not observed.
Where once I gazed into the deep
And saw the shimmering bottom below my feet,
I now drag my eyes from what had first enthralled
And frightened me. I search to see that sight
And gaze to find your face, to seek the face I crave.
But now the sun has dropped behind your head
A halo forms about your hair; your shoulders; and I see
Not clearly anymore, your eyes, your mouth, your dark, dark eyes.
But time has thrown up much between us.
And time-created distance lies before.
For where before was depth, I now perceive remoteness
For the gap now between us is not as then,
The distance now between us is not as then,
It was but one long stride… a little more.
But now there stretches into distance, not only my view of you
But a howling abyss with a storm beneath my feet.
There is no bridge. There is a void. No bridge.
And though the stick you offered me might then have helped,
You withdrew it from me almost as you offered.
You are no longer my shoulder to rely upon
No longer the strong young back to support my age;
My walking stick remains a turn of speech.
An artefact of speech… Simply a word.