How Many Times

how many times have we missed this?
this invinceable night that calls
and i have to believe we all come running
knowing the moment is fragile and fleeting

but the spririt wades away in the ebb of this place
before my pointing attracts you
and i weep

how many times have we missed this?

there is a voice at the pulpit
and it has a vision
true, genuine
it speaks of hope and trust
a confidence in men
and the prospect of your neighbor's wellness

it is not god's speaking
it simply seeks communion
soil in which to take root
and an old porch on which to explain itself

but we have not happened to gather this night
and so we do not cheer
or hug shoulders
or shout our approval in toasts
how many times have we missed this?

my brother plucks a guitar
and hums the flame to dancing
his persuasion is the wind in the grass
the breath that animates the prairie
the mountains gather 'round
and the river's rapids envy his clip
how many times have we missed this?

november, 1989
a tiny hand is pressed against concrete
a hand that has never hated
a hand that belongs to a hungry stomach
and a mouth that has never cursed
but the hand squeezes rock dust
and the teeth are grinding earthquakes
she stands on a new fault line
and whispers, timid, a line that will never be heard
'fuck you'
a young rage slung in the dark and
sure of its target
gives the concrete veins
and nations will be joined

there is a fog on the water
deer lap the lakeshore
a twist of red bounds a foxes dance in the weeds
and these trees shatter the sun's advance
i do not belong here
no where is so natural as this, for me
but with you
how many times have we missed this?

these were golden fields and evergreens
when men were humbled by the fog of their breath
against the weight of winter
a good woman held heat to her breast and lived well
where you still walk wide-eyed
what's the sin of innocence in the wild
look at one another and know
this is not normal
but great and good
how many times have we missed this?

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