The man with the gray hair and whitening sensibilities
steps out into his friend's backyard after dinner.
He looks over the familiar cessations in
the shrubbery and grass, the edgings and stipplings
that arrest the migrant greens all up and down their routes
from near-black to almost gold.
With beer in hand he examines once again the belongings
he has stored there: an anchored calm, a weighted perspective,
a certain translucence of mind that takes on
the fastened colorations, his very examining come back to him
from its locker within the look of the place, a lens
like no other that he turns upon his host to contemplate
the belongings he has laid away in the younger man's agitated face.
As the cinctures of physiognomy around eyes and mouth adjust
the apertures, let his friend out into the wilderness called
personality, the stowed goods are evident from the bulges--
in the terrain, in the words, in what doesn't have to be said.
Under their coverings the goods bear
the old man's name, not to secure the belongings
but to secure those little plots of name.
As the older one listens gravely,
the young man can feel him claiming
his belongings-to: the proprietary sockets
into which his listening fits,
the attention-shaped berths.
Clarity, ambitions, happiness come and go,
the young man thinks, but this old friend remains
driven firmly into the far edge of life, a stake
to cinch the rope to.
It's the resistance that's reassuring,
the tension of the rope proving there's really
something out there so far from the start,
something to hold his inexplicable weight.