Thursday Poem

In Maastricht, Nearing Departure

In two days, you will leave.
For now: dusk, wine, small cigar.
You will have stayed three months
in Maastricht, a city occasioned
a couple thousand years ago
by soldiers crossing a river.
Walking over theirs
your footprints are invisible.
And something about mortality
sinks in slantwise.
It’s not that nothing you do matters
– although, frankly, how?
On these cobblestone streets
slicked by rain, there’s no traction.
Perhaps it’s the way
others can look through one, here,
small reminders of inconsequentiality.
But you could learn to love this.
The solitary bat juking in jagged circles.
The web of airplanes crisscrossing the sky,
their vapor trails pink-hued
by the already disappeared sun
as they near the edge of sight.
In all this, what’s not to love?
And night comes on so slowly,
the children asleep or nearing sleep,
the neighbors at card games on the balcony.
You could learn to love this.
The rich acrid taste lingering
as it leaves the mouth.
The cherishing and the letting go,
not always in that order.

by Tim DeJong
from the Ecotheo Review