He used to dry my hair,
sixty and little hair himself,
one of those thoroughbreds
who were beyond fattening,
a bit too highly strung, but
I would never have said that,
then, as I ran about, always on
the run, too busy to see those
bony fingers, to hear a tired voice,
to touch his old, thin face or kiss
his cheeks, put my arms around
his slim frame, sons did not do
that then or now, much.
But he dried my hair and off
I went to bed: comforting routine
at the core of life with real knowing
coming later, so much later, if at all.
Perhaps it is in consorting with people
of the immortal realm that we go up
on the ladders of inner truth and hasten...
to the heaven of inner significance.
I see him then in that small room
on the green couch his head angled
just ready to nod off--for he was an old man.
Has he come to me now through my prayers
and all those years of thought and quiet laid-
down memory on the wings of assistance
from Holy Souls like the subtle mysteries
of the Friend with the Israfil of life?
Does he wait, renewed and refreshed
by some mountain stream, to hear my story,
or mine his. We have so much to say,
although it may not need saying when,
at last, our souls have drunk from that
camphor fountain near the Crimson Pillar
on that snow-white path where the gate
opens on the placeless.
© Ron Price, 2004 (all rights reserved)