Ruby red, small fisted, dauntless royal heart,
heart that has born me up, loaned me a life.
This heart that runs of its own accord,
with daily rescues, with my will as cohort.
How it keeps thumping, pushing,
sweet talking despite time or errors, passions
wearing out me out, the cumulative years
like sand falling, driven against stone,
and wind gnarling the once green tree.
I call out to it even as it labors,
don’t let me down, dance me just so,
grow old at home behind the light armor
of ribs with a proprietary peace.
And still it heeds my pleas.
I carry it into the ruins of the world,
into dangers of ordinary living,
and tentative runs with silver hair flying, on walks
with legs that push until my breath shortens,
squeezes me to a stop. I count the seconds,
eyes widely watering, back to passersby
until we can go on, panting,
dash through tender or cutting rains,
under sun’s umbrella, in moonlight’s whisper
and the trees, who know everything.
You feel with me as they wave, rivers flash,
and other creatures call.
You feel because I feel. Or is it
the other way around, my friend?
The rest we manage, too, madcap
mysteries and random muttering spiked
with bolts of anger and deep weeping wells,
sorts of things few might admit but we cannot deny.
We are comrades, more than this,
confessor and confessed,
body and soul.
So today when the one (who 20 years ago
salvaged us) intones with smile and handshake
doing well once more, keep up the great work,
stop worrying because you know
we all die of something-
I lift you, my heart, out into the world
feeling more brave and sturdy but this, too:
five more years, ten more years. Please.
When all that exists for us is this moment,
old heart, so let us know the glory of it.
the golden romance of another reprieve.
Good heart, it only comes to this,
that we shall live and live and pass as one