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2.0k · Dec 2018
For the Forgotten
Philip Lawrence Dec 2018
The eulogies resound in stentorian tones for the great,
those of prominence, those who have ascended to the pinnacle,
those who have known power, and who have changed worlds,
whose names fall from the lips of every man, who are offered
unencumbered embrace, a deferential half pace backward.
But what of the good man, without position, sans societal perch,
whose wealth is paltry, accomplishment meager,
yet whose effort is no less herculean, no less courageous,
whose heart is no less pure, the good man doomed to failure
through paucity of talent, or missed opportunity,
or plain bad fortune, yet who resolves to continue, plod foot after foot to anonymous end, and whose name will not be voiced in so much as a whisper for all eternity.
1.9k · Apr 2017
Tick Tock
Philip Lawrence Apr 2017
The long dormant heart need
burst, explode, dance in the fire,
decry the years.
Dare laugh at the black angel,
howl with glee, a jacquerie of one,
for you are a presence, alive.
Astonish, before it is too late,
for the lambent eve wanes.
977 · Jun 2017
Philip Lawrence Jun 2017
Though I tremble now, and my eyes glass,
And my words wander as they
Search for a final sense of this world,
Dare look beyond, for I remain
Young with joy and foolishness,
And I am stout of heart and limb within,
My passion undiminished, my love unshaken, if unspoken.
And when I am finally gone,
Immerse in the warm breeze between the leaves,
Smile at the robins chirp,
Be mesmerized by children,
For I will be there,
Incorporeal, ubiquitous,
To envelop you as I have in life and will always,
Without limit.
962 · Mar 2017
Gray Water
Philip Lawrence Mar 2017
Boardwalk beach goers
Strolled in ball caps
And in wide-brimmed hats
And in flip flops
And in cover-ups casually tied over low-slung bikinis
Lining the railing of the weathered pier
Eyes half closed, hands folded, heads atilt
Shoulders squared to a fading sun
A familiar form among the silhouettes
Twenty years hence
A cascade of raven hair
A billowing summer dress
My single breath
Then across rutted planks
To finally slake the thirst for another and
Be free of the malfeased heart
The lilt of perfume
Light, breathless, familiar
Transported back through time
To burn white hot again
Only to blanch at the precipice
Before the gray water
807 · Feb 2019
Philip Lawrence Feb 2019
I’ll never be happy he told her.
She said it wasn’t true,
that he was young,
that he didn’t know any better,
that things will change someday.
And when they met many years later,
when they were silver-haired and slower afoot,
she said she was sorry,
that she was the one who didn’t understand,
and that he was right all along.
And hearing that, he turned slowly and walked away.
795 · Apr 2017
Philip Lawrence Apr 2017
Amsterdam Avenue, Sunday morning
Stubs of moisture collect across the panes
Then rivulets, thin as capillaries
She lounges on the sofa
And edges her bare feet between cushions
She is wrapped in a thick towel
Bare to mid-thigh
Hair ebon and slick
Pale face aglow
Her freckled shoulders glisten
And she smiles
730 · Mar 2017
Immersion Therapy
Philip Lawrence Mar 2017
Hair grown white

brushed straight away

Gnarled spine

Shoulders unsquared

Padded stool

Red leather tome

Pencil scars

Yellowed borders

Crooked finger

Brittle leaves

Blurred mass

Rimless descent

Old friend


Comfort alights
680 · Mar 2017
A Narrow Stone
Philip Lawrence Mar 2017
I dig into the glass jar and withdraw my hand
I fling my arm and follow the seeds
As they scatter on the crusted snow like pepper specks
Skittering, helpless to stop
I wait for the sparrows and the starlings and the hawkish blue jays
The bright red cardinals all stuffed whole and round
Under a winter coat
Early morning is best
Not garish, like noontime
My steps are high in the deep powder
To the narrow stone posted on end
The earthen mound having sunk since that warm day in May
And I strike the ice and brush the crystals and
His name appears down its length
Black, hand-painted letters
I speak to him, my companion of fourteen years, in an easy tone
There is furious pecking beneath the sunrise
Company of a sort, bribed for the moment
And neither of us is alone
663 · Apr 2017
Night Fires
Philip Lawrence Apr 2017
The soft blow of the trumpet or
the strum of guitar strings cajole the uninterested
to see the hand-lettered sign,
the cigar box, the jam jar
as the loyal dog curls in the doorway.
The deaf, the blind, the besotted, the luckless,
all night thieves of blankets,
sellers of wilted roses on a double white line.
Ghosts on street corners who sidle through the rain
in search of some, in search of any
until a last breath among the silhouettes
of the night fires that lick at the black winter sky.
653 · Jun 2018
Old Man I See You
Philip Lawrence Jun 2018
old man I see you
blue suit and bow tie
and hat placed neatly aside
cradling your coffee
an absentminded gaze
through the tall windows
and beyond
to the young passersby
in a hurry
as you once were
busily home to love
to soothe the withering day
love that you once had
but has passed
old man I see you
your eyes a fluid blue
locked in memory
that plays before you
to touch
a pas de deux of passion
eclipsed by time
old man I see you
and you are not alone
632 · May 2017
Almost Nightfall
Philip Lawrence May 2017
Two eased from the sedan.
A blanket, a brimming wicker basket.
A pond filled with geese, the birds claiming the embankment.
Water’s edge, he spun the blanket outward and
The geese scattered, and the cloth descended in an almost perfect square.
The valley’s familiar diversions, the white steeple a mile away,
Copses scattered acres apart, poked above the low brush.
Elbows propped in the afternoon heat  
Listening to the rustlings in the bramble
Until the valley’s natural rhythms brought him sleep.
Awakened to the rustling of paper,
He watched her scatter bread crumbs,
Circling the water with goslings in tow as they
Nuzzled at the bits of dough, an odd parade
Until a goose made chase, and the dithered fowl
Marched her brood away
And the woman laughed an undignified laugh in delight.
Alone, glasses descended from his furrowed brow,
An envelope withdrawn,
Elegant script, long luxurious parchment perused and then
Extended to her on her return.
Her lined face turned away, skyward,
The glorious heat warming, much preferred
Above the chilling words.
Together, they sat until the day had cooled
And she wrapped herself in a thick sweater and
Their shadows distorted as they relinquished the day,
He guiding her in the gloaming before the beams of light
Bounced unpredictably in the irregular road.
548 · Mar 2018
Blackbird Morning
Philip Lawrence Mar 2018
A glimpse, as
morning creaks awake,
and one hundred blackbirds
feast along the cleared patch of land
where seeds, cupped and flung open-handed,
are strewn across the white and white and white
until, sated for the moment,
the fowls erupt in a calamitous flurry,
blackening the dawn,
succumbing to the urge to move on.
524 · Jan 24
some say she was born with a broken heart,
unmendable by word or deed, and now armed
with a quiver full of witticisms and deft vertical
palm, friends, lovers, the world, all held at bay,
lest they discover her sorrow
515 · Mar 2017
Philip Lawrence Mar 2017
Chin tucked
Against the winter cold
I stand as ever
Common as the wind ridge
On the snowfield  
It is late
Evening is near
And my breath shallows
Oh, to be subsumed by the warmth
If only once
To spin dizzily and happily ‘round
In the bright circle
So that I may
At last
442 · May 2017
Reflections in Late Evening
Philip Lawrence May 2017
A glance,
A smile,
A hint of attar.
A word.
A touch.
My heart thumps.
A sidereal excursion
And I cannot wait until tomorrow.
436 · Mar 2017
Drops of Lamplight
Philip Lawrence Mar 2017
We walked among
Manet and Degas
and Delacroix
Ran Gucci and Hermes
through our fingers
Rode bicycles
On the Champs Elysees
And wore berets  
At rest beneath the Tower
And in a cafe at twilight
We drank too much wine
And we laughed
In the pink glow
Of the city
Until it was dark
And later
Along the Seine
Drops of lamplight
shone on the water
And she spoke of how
Paris was like love
Living only for the night
Its beauty
Vanishing by morning
To return only when day
Again falls into darkness  
To caress only others.
412 · Aug 2017
Before Dusk's Silence
Philip Lawrence Aug 2017
Cast off the carapace,
Reject the shadows,
The years of silence.
Stalk with Orion,
Lie bewitched by Cassiopeia,
And love,
Immerse in romance,
Avail oneself of kindness,
Stoop low for the hungry child,
Caress the brows of the better angels
Before time’s cruel erosion
Renders the faint-hearted famished,
Shackled to the plow
When the final growl,
The tocsin before dusk’s silence,
Rattles for a life not lived.
402 · Mar 2017
Philip Lawrence Mar 2017
I spoke to an old man on a dewy summer morning
We sat on a park bench under a spreading oak tree and he
Spoke of the space beneath his desk where he waited for the flash
And when Oswald grimaced in pain and
The joy of sniffing freshly printed mimeographs
And the shame of My Lai
How he helped his father pack his things when left as a boy  
And when he wept at his dog’s last three breaths
He recalled the kindest person he’d ever met
And that he once had had faith
He said he remembered everything
And then he moved on.
395 · May 2018
Yield Not
Philip Lawrence May 2018
lantern raised
she yields not
to the untamed hand,
the empty heart,
the preening, the predatory,
that find the pure,
the passionate,
and the tempest that swirls about them,
to mark and groom,
their trust wrought for a singular end,
to render truth writhing upon the
calumnies of acolytes,
the hardscrabble earth
where the courage and decency
of the many break and recede  
until wretchedly,
383 · Dec 2020
Philip Lawrence Dec 2020
I remember no words,

only the sting of hot coffee,

a hurried gulp,

so not to speak of your leaving
376 · May 2017
An Abiding Sense
Philip Lawrence May 2017
Her speech is soft,
And she withdraws without offending.
A need for privacy, a gated soul.
Watchful, assessing all that one does,
yet not judgmental.
The tenuous connection of the wary,
careful with other humans.
But her compassion enormous,
reserved for the most unfortunate, who
through wretched happenstance  
are unable to make their own way.
The sick, the feeble, the troubled,
the emotionally destitute,
somehow find their way to her door,
the unknowable gift by which the needy
intuitively understand human kindness.
A rare generosity,
an uncompromised sense of right and wrong.
A shunned autistic boy befriended,
rescued four-legged friends,
clothing gathered for the poor.
A homeless teen brought to tears by the purchase of a prom dress.
No great wealth, no abundance of resources
waiting to be dispatched at the touch of a screen.
Only a wherewithal borne of an impassioned need to help,
to speak out, maybe to erupt in angry persuasion
to sate an abiding sense that one must do what one can.
Written for a friend.
368 · May 2017
Immigrant Heart
Philip Lawrence May 2017
Do not be saddened by our sullied and blackened shores.
Do not forsake your dream, for the tocsin will always ring
for those unmindful of origin,
who bear convenient constructs, writhen mores,
all weighed by the dunnage of fear.
Or worse.
Strive, persist, and wait and wait and wait
until voices rise and the pendulum descends.
For the lady still shines, clear-eyed and steadfast.
She still wants you, still needs you.
Your soul, your yearning heart.
365 · Jul 2017
Eighth Avenue
Philip Lawrence Jul 2017
Five-thirty p.m., 1985,
A crowded bus.
The passengers generate heat as
The men stand round-shouldered
Reading newspapers, and we all
Sway to the rhythm of the city traffic.
I scan the rows for an empty seat and
I angle past the others, ignoring all
Except for one.
He stoops under a worn gray hat,
An overcoat overwhelms his slight body
And his dark eyes glance from row to row
With urgency as the bus halts.
A seat opens and the little man
Moves toward the vacancy.
I am closer, and I will have it before him.
The man grips the overhead bar for balance.
He is short and his coat sleeve slides
To his elbow and faded blue numbers
Appear on his forearm.
They are clear enough.
I stand motionless as he slides by me.
There is room for him to pass, but
He steps sideways.
He does not look up.
He says nothing.
361 · Sep 2017
Philip Lawrence Sep 2017
Better the gratitude of
a single child
than the angry
cheers of thousands
359 · Aug 2017
Philip Lawrence Aug 2017
The form is lithe, familiar,
A silhouette in bold relief
Emerged from the morning crowd,
Muting the surrounding multitudes
Who pass in waves each morning,
Their grey eyes, their grey coats
Moving, like me, in a depressed muddle,
Granted no relief,
Until today, now years hence,
The umbrellas part under the pall of fog
For a brief reveal, a respite from pain,
Momentarily freed from the unknowing,
Granted peace that she is alright,
Beautiful, serene, assured,
Belonging to no one but herself.
357 · Mar 2019
Like Animals in the Rain
Philip Lawrence Mar 2019
I still search for you,
or someone like you.
I am sad we no longer speak,
to love and talk the way we used to,
our thoughts unprotected,
like animals in the rain.
355 · Jan 2018
Philip Lawrence Jan 2018
I fall into the dreams I craft.
Unshackled from the present,
I heal my aggrieved heart.
I ponder, fiddle with the past,
Shape time, trifle with fortune,
Fashion what could have been
And remain comforted until
I can no longer remain, for
There are others.    
Others who will not know
The bone-tingling joy of first love
Who will never see a sparrow hop
Branch to branch in the dead of winter,
Who face attenuated life without despair,
Who dare not dream for fear of want.
And yet they do dream,
Dreams infinitely more modest
And infinitely more powerful
Than my own constructs,
And I awake, silent.
323 · Dec 2017
Brooklyn Sunset
Philip Lawrence Dec 2017
We climbed over the East River
and the iron web encased the roadway
and I pressed against the window
as the granite squares of the bridge sped by
only to stop along an embankment before
tumbling down to the cobblestone walkway,
running past stone tables with old men
hovering over soapstone knights and
to the promenade, to the railing,
stunned by the grand sweep of it
from the squat cut-stone icon
to the glass spires huddled on the far shore
elbowing for prominence
to the sunset reach of New York Harbor
stretching southward
far beyond the fingertip of Manhattan
past the tugboats that
scurried in the channel
along Governor’s Island
and on past the Liberty Torch
and out to sea.
love, peace, home, memory, New York, sunset, relationship, couple, life, death,
321 · Mar 2017
Philip Lawrence Mar 2017
I buff the rear view mirror with my coat sleeve
Crowded steps
Shivering bridesmaids
A blur of white lace disappears inside
I slide along the back row
Old, familiar, burnished slick
She passes
Me to the aisle
Crisp scent of White Linen
The ***** quiets
I arch and crane
A glimpse
A profile wedged in memory
Then, a kiss to another
Collar up
I sidle away
312 · Apr 2018
Philip Lawrence Apr 2018
warm May morning

early cool breeze  

pock-marked bleachers

men loping lazily across

a verdant carpet  as

bright-white baseballs are

snared under ice-blue skies

and as three-year-old eyes

dart unfailingly, and

sneakers kick up and down

mid-air while tiny fingers

grip the metal chair in

full anticipation
305 · May 2018
Philip Lawrence May 2018
the people
the tide of people
the swarm hurrying across gargantuan
sun-streamed rooms as
they rush in a glide along golden handrails
before descending through smooth marble stairwells,
the people,
some tense, and cross, and expended,
brows furrowed, forlorn with unrest
while others,
the people
who walk brightly with anticipation,
their comings and goings
each a new adventure,
life not waiting to be lived
283 · Aug 2017
Philip Lawrence Aug 2017
One need only tilt life's prism to
Feel the grey muzzle buried into the crook of an arm,
See the faceless sunflowers reach toward the light,
Inhale at tresses swung, and the release of attar,
Smile at papers strewn on a rainy Sunday morning,
Blush at a hand outstretched in anticipation,
And to close one’s eyes at the memory of a friend.
278 · Mar 2017
Philip Lawrence Mar 2017
The courtyard sits behind her home
Seventeen paces from the door
And inside its iron perimeter
Clusters of daffodils and irises
Hydrangeas and lilies are
All surrounded by large hardy plants
Resilient to harsh northern winters
She posted the fencing
And the pave stones and the
Shrubs and the flowers
She dug the bowls
And made them twice the size of the roots
And in the spring
She fed and nurtured the plantings
And tended them until now
As it is summer
And his marker has disappeared from view
The fullness and well-being of the garden
Enveloping the flat gray slate
A respite warm and lasting
Until the chill of autumn
Again lays bare the past
275 · Jan 2018
Philip Lawrence Jan 2018
A distant rumble,
Only a tickle of memory,
Ages into it all from
Once callow disdain.
Hubris unrealized,
Now unspoken as
The hourglass grows heavier,
Evening thicker, and the
Lauding echoes
Diminish beyond summon.
264 · Jan 2018
Let Them Hear Your Voice
Philip Lawrence Jan 2018
It is time.
The tocsin clangs and
I wonder if we will answer.
Will we
Rise for those who cannot stand,
Speak for those unable to speak,
Shout for those too frightened to be noticed?
Will we
Beseech, cajole, beg for the destitute,
Chastise the greedy,
Kneel for the abandoned child?
Will we
Offer comfort for the homeless,
And solace to the fearful?
Will we
Help lift downcast eyes riveted
Motionless in the shadows
By power that yearns for the past?
Will we be passionate?
Will we be decent?
Will we be true?
It is time.
And for this, I do not wonder:
There, but for the grace of God,
Go us all.
264 · May 2018
Philip Lawrence May 2018
scales of desire tip,
time now weightier than fortune,
the more precious,
as it always has been,
gone unrecognized,
obscured by hale youth,
invaluable, ephemeral
allowing the echo of song,
the titter-laugh of loved ones,
banter of old friends,
hours with the hound turned gray
who clings to one’s hip,
silver windswept rainstorms,
ice-crested mountains,
frantic hummingbirds
suspended as still life,
the raw tickle of a running finger
along silken skin,
sin, regret, atonement,
recollections savored
of those who have left
as if brought back before one,
if only for the moment,
before recession into an ether world
and the miasma of memory and loss,
a gift for one to inhale the entirety,
and to expel it all with a ferocity
that says to those who will listen,
how I cherish thee
259 · Jun 2017
The Day
Philip Lawrence Jun 2017
Evening brings the heft of the day
Tumbling upon me, burdensome and lasting
Until the first thought of you
Renders those troubles
A deliquescent memory.
247 · Apr 2018
Philip Lawrence Apr 2018
Earth tumbles sideways, and
I lay in heavy snow.
I swallow deep breaths of cold night air.
It is painful to breathe as
I face blue-black sky.
Stars, brightest before dawn,
cluster above me, and
dance like a whirligig.
I wheeze.
I think I am breathing deeply.
I am not.
My ribs feel to bend and crack
and I clutch at my chest, move my arms.
The small exertion does not lift me up,
it does not ease the pain.
Oh, ****.
I understand, and I try to call out.
I can make no words,
only a puff of vapor that
dissipates into exposed brick.
What time is it?
I cannot make much sound,
and it is difficult to move.
I wonder when someone will see me.
The arc of the streetlight,
blocked by the maple tree.
I should have cut it down last fall.
Lost to a shade tree?
Marguerite will not wake for an hour.
She will be alright, so will the kids,
families of their own now.
What was that poem?
Third grade, no fourth.
I read it in class.
Billy Herschel hit me with an eraser
when I finished.
The wet snow was too heavy.
I see the plastic shovel
upright in the drift.
Uncle Nick went like this.
Dumb *******, I knew better.
I hear car tires rolling noisily down the street.
I lift a black glove and move my hand.
My ribs stab at me. It is too dark.
I cannot see her. She cannot see me.
I let my hand fall deeply into the snow.
The crystals make their way under my collar.
It is cold, very cold, and it feels good,
keeps me awake, as I feel very tired,
pushed mightily, deeper into the earth.
My watch. I am not wearing a watch.
I will not know what time I will die.
I think to blow puffs of air into the sky,
and I hope that someone
will see the tiny smoke signals.
I smile at the thought.
I hate to dance.
Embarrassed to dance,
embarrassed all my years,
and there is now little time.
I hope there is time.
I am sleepy.
I think of my dog, gone some twenty years.
I see his paws, his gray muzzle, and
his last three breaths.
A single sparrow finds the telephone wire.
It is dawn,
my eyes are closing,
and the dark is warm.
228 · Dec 2020
Philip Lawrence Dec 2020
at the corner, he reached for her elbow

and held it gently as they crossed,

her lips parting in betrayal at the touch
220 · Dec 2020
Reel Dreams
Philip Lawrence Dec 2020
some imperious, red-lipped, salty-mouthed,

others drift in gimlet-eyed diffidence,

all gossamer now, clarity only to be

found in the reels of Morpheus
210 · Apr 2020
Philip Lawrence Apr 2020
The deadbolt turns and we move silently
along the perimeter,
cats marking our territory,
while panes sparkle,
portals into the nothingness below.
We sit and wait.
And wonder.
209 · Apr 2018
Bright Path
Philip Lawrence Apr 2018
the park is broad,
a swath of land
with crisp playing fields,
and verdant hillsides,
and tortuous paths, and
split through the middle,
a spine of water,
and we walked those paths
and sat by the waterside,
and angled our sight
through the trees to glimpse
the skulling youth slice
through the cool water
in iridescent hulls,
and then we would up and run,
his pink tongue flopping joyously,
the sleek ebon coat a marvel
day after day, until he sickened,
and he waited patiently,
carried to riverside berth
to laze before the golden marsh grasses
and follow the osprey's search  
until the day cooled and there was
a whimper, a huff
before graying paws were lifted from earth,
chin nuzzled in appreciation,
until I walked that stone path alone,
as I do now,
as I have done for years,
and each day I wait for the
blue jays and the robins to quiet,
and the morning breeze to calm,
to hear the sounds of jostling stones,
old paw steps in tow,
and I smile at the path
that is bright again  
for I know he does not want me to walk alone
206 · Aug 2017
The Sound of Sky
Philip Lawrence Aug 2017
A sumptuous lounge,
The deck burnished gold.
Twisted in a youthful tangle,
She awakes to fold a tanned calf
Beneath a taut thigh.
Arms extend upward and inspire
A long languid yawn.
Thick ebon tresses are askew
In a lovely rumpled mess
And beneath the lashes, the hue is one
With the mid-morning sea as
She pauses in a synesthetic trance
To face the white sails
Stark against their cerulean canvas,
And she smiles at the sound of sky.
203 · Dec 2018
December Wind
Philip Lawrence Dec 2018
Brown and brittle and shrunken,
and having slipped through the tines,
or escaped the blower’s roar,
they tumble across the hard earth
carried by the December wind
to settle beneath the boxwoods
and then lay quiet under winter’s blanket
with the hope to see another spring.
198 · Apr 2020
The Quiet Fire
Philip Lawrence Apr 2020
Sirens fill the empty canyons, heralds of a deadly spring,
while the images repeat and repeat and repeat across the screen.
Masked faces telling desperate stories of flooded hallways
and gasping hours, of fear, exhaustion, and despair,
of knocks on nursing home windows, of face-time deaths,
and worse, the prospect of triage roulette.

But outside, many fall silently, alone, as they lived,
remembered only by a neighbor’s tardy knock,
or atop the sidewalk grate, as they lived, and have now passed,
quietly, still forgotten, untallied in the daily count, to fill the trenches
of potter’s field that beckon the unclaimed, to be bagged and sheathed
and to soldier in neat rows, uncounted once last time.
188 · Mar 2018
Golden Rays No More
Philip Lawrence Mar 2018
The pangs that once arrived –
unexpectedly, always unexpectedly –
and only in the deepest of nights,
now visit often.
They come at daybreak
when the squirrels scratch
at the rooftop shingles
before leaping off,
branch to branch.
They invade the dull
white thoughts
of green grocers,
and bald car tires,
and rotting leaves,
and baseball statistics.
They rush pell-mell
into the morning shower
to deliver an icy lacing
to the whoosh of warmth.
Pangs of omission.
Thoughts of not enough,
not having done enough.
Enough love, and enough joy.
and, yes, enough wealth.
But was there reflection?
Tangible kindness?
No, never enough kindness.
And now, as the shadows lengthen,
and the amber hues of dusk,
once welcome, bestow only regret,
they are golden rays no more.
174 · Dec 2020
Philip Lawrence Dec 2020
I knew when your hand brushed my collar,

removing a thread,

and removing all doubt
171 · Dec 2020
Philip Lawrence Dec 2020
muddied shoes neatly paired by the fire,
the leather seat crinkles under my weight
as I inch closer, full mug in hand, the
ceramic feverish to the touch

the flames lick and recede, past faces beseeching me to stay,
swallowing me into the warm past, familiar, my skin,
my bones inseparable, still part of the many departed,
a night’s respite before daylight and the need to move on,

the hearth, broad and crackling, it pulls,
not yet I think, as I struggle with my pack,
not yet, as the morning will be cold but bright,
the path branch-filled yet passable, a journey still,

not yet I think
160 · Feb 2018
Philip Lawrence Feb 2018
your smile, and
standing on tiptoe
to brush a wisp of hair
from my brow
158 · Sep 2020
The Price
Philip Lawrence Sep 2020
There, a distant rumble, a wistful tickle of memory,
of lauded youth, expectant and callow, and now,
hubristic dreams long swamped, regretted, he sits alone,
the past unspoken, the opaque night thicker, heavier,
the clock nearly sated, and the sepia promise of a certain
time tattered, irretrievable, he nods and brightens
at lessons well learned.
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