Revisiting the fields of promise, listening

to Harold

If I could write to you
what would I say?
This lament is for me
driving home tonight
in my silver sports car,
not so unlike you,
wanting for one moment to sail
out there, over the film of fear
that settles like dew on the promise of green.

Heading off to college, wise beyond your time,
you left me
holding the gifts: a keen eye, an open heart, a quick mind
passed them to the child who donned your gravity
as surely as your oxford cloth shirts,

poised    on the cusp    the world wide open

and you sailed into that tree
in one stunning moment,
it was over;

you were free, high above the fields of promise.

I used to cringe at the thought of your terror
the moment you lost control
but tonight the wind whispers your relief,
the exhilaration of letting go.

The wallet was still damp in our mother’s hands
long after the firemen extinguished the flames,
you floating across darkness
pulling indigo from the sky,
head thrown back in laughter
released from the prospects of what you could do,

long gusts across morning
high above the fields of wildflowers blooming
you beckon me to dream myself into waves
of color that dance with you

who I followed everywhere.
This time I stay
behind to listen, at long last
to the peals of your laughter, travelling
through the whistle that carries the wind.

Leaf Seligman   1992