I’ll not be doing that now, nor the tropical islands,
the Algerian marketplace, the sunrise, the ocean.
Too many years vanished. I’ll be in a cottage by a lake,
stumbling through books with pages missing,
looking from doorways at my nondescript back yard.
But Godspeed those who still wander,
Godspeed the great lovers, the great adventurers,
the movies and statues they’ll become,
lonesome and blue. . . . Here, this evening,
everything will be quiet except my neighbor’s buzz-saw
cutting into even lengths the wood
he’ll use for something or other that he doesn’t need. . .
and all I didn’t do or dare to do,
will haunt me—those dreams appearing elsewhere,
the jungle wet with rain,
you who I never met, arms lifted up into another’s arms,
in a small house in Cairo, in a market stall
with the abacus and the veils,
or three rows ahead, your face tucked toward the window,
when I belonged to no one on that silver plane.
© Dick Allen