Albert

I still remember Albert.

He was an aged tree.

I was a young leaf,

blowing over his land.

We met once;

I sat across from him,

heartbroken, torn, seeking answers:

                Tell me where to go.

                Tell me who I should be.

                Tell me who I will meet.

And so, Albert asked me:

                Do words create images?

                Do images create words?

                Where do you stand?

That I knew –

that I have always known.

                I travel down the path of thought.

                I interpret hidden meanings.

                I lay them out on pages,

                so that I may understand this life.

I looked at the old man,

pitying his age,

pitying the years that left him weak.

I continued:

                Thoughts form in my head.

                They spill out onto pages,

                when I need them most.

                Thoughts about love,

                unsaid words between me and life.

                That is my path;

                to see why I am alone,

                to understand why I am lost.

The old man heard me, but ignored my worries.

                You do not belong in my land.

                You do not belong to him,

                or any other man.

                Your place is among the sea of stories within you,

                and the love notes in your hands –

                that is where you belong.

                You are the words that undress you,

                in a way no other man can –

                words that leave you raw and open.

                You are real with a pen; 

                you belong in the space

                between the lines of your poems.

                Long after your smile dims,

                and your eyes become stars,

                time will remember your last words.

                I ask that you remember this:

                I sat with kings,

                and walked with beggars –

                twice, I wore the same clothes,  

                twice, I asked their names with a handshake,

and a smile on my lips.

                I do not belong to a number,

                nor is any richness eternal.

                We belong to life;  

remember this.

Today, I tell his story;

I see him when I hold my pen,

hovering over this page.

Today, I remember,

I still remember Albert.

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