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once

you stayed away
much longer than you meant
but I was waiting
near the window
(you could see me from the road)
and everything was still
the same
though years have bent us both
but something there
is just as it had been (before)
tho moments keep no pictures
of the past

I’d thought a time or two
of where you might have gone
did you make it to that diner
stayed up all night long
(to dance)
what engine held you closer
than I ever thought
I could
did you long for me
(forgiveness)
beneath a desert moon

I remember hearing
somewhere
you had lost your faith
and for nights
I prayed and worried of the road before
whene’er a storm would come
I’d speak your name (aloud)
and stare out at the darkness
everywhere
(and wondering)

it’s been a while
the place don’t look the same
(as then)
the orchard fell a year or so ago
the old porch swing
still sways (beneath the weight of memory)
there’s some things I don’t say
(I wish I could)

come inside
I’ll get some coffee brewing
what pride I may have had
was lost in yesterday
there are latches need replacing
and fields now gone (to seed)

I moved the bed
much closer to the window
I can lie awake
and count the stars
(you gave)

nothing’s changed
tho time has passed
(winters without asking)
no need to say
I’ve never locked the door
some might call me crazy
but most are gone from here

most all my life
I’ve waited for this day
you stayed away
much longer than you meant

. . .