We Were Young Once

We were young once. We watched the stars canvas first thoughts. Kid stuff. Clean. Knock knock. Who’s there? Gerard Manley Hopkins. Taught us the serious worship of joy. Here comes the bird whose wingspan opens like pages in wind. I was trying to read poems to a girl in a meadow. We were young once. This was only seconds ago. Finland. A meadow fit for life after life after life. Ate a handful of cloudberries. Swam naked in ice cold water under moon. Kid stuff. Laughed for no reason. Everything, prelude to thought. And sometimes, early, remarkable things. Walking home in Helsinki around dawn, met a policeman on a horse. “Nice horse,” I said, and he climbed down and told me all about her, and I could see he was a country boy.

We were young. Knock knock. Who’s there? Pablo Neruda.

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