Portugal

 

Words grow cold

Time sits in the mirror

And when you look

Years stare

What happened, you ask?

When did I leave the race?

 

A tear, a shiver,

All from the cracking place.

 

Frozen in October heat

Bones and all

A wish for chicken soup,

Vegetable broth,

Whatever can warm inside.

How did you arrive here?

 

The dreams turned to ashes

The colleagues—way ahead—

Some dead.

What’s left: mundane.

 

Suddenly you fall

On your knees

And give thanks that your knuckles

Still rattle with life

There is a voice inside you,

There is a constant friend.

You’ve had a good job

A decent vacation

You have a phone, an email address, a computer

Above all you have a story

Miles to go and there will be listeners

You’ve lived you.

 

Half through the life you’ve gambled,

You’ve changed, you’ve adapted

Life has beaten you to shape,

You’ve not quit.

Giving thanks you

Call up that friend to say:

Are you holding on—friend?

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