Lanthanum 2.23

for my parents
on their (58th) anniversary

So Hobo, carrying his heavy heartache,
tried hard to find his bearings, listening
to silvery flute sounds, haunted, emanating
from a screen of Russian willows, by a lake...

and his longing lengthened like an endless Volga
circling the universe, his absent little almond
tree resembling someone further off – a blue-
green pine, perhaps (near Lake Itasca).

And the shoulders of the shades gathered round
his droopy shoulders – Blackstone, Maximus.
Low voices, muttering a kind of peace
which passeth understanding
(brooding sound

of rock dove, mourning dove). They said :
your anxious anguish that will not depart
is evidence
(scored limestone) of a greater
heart – some deeper matrix, mingled and

conjoined with all that is
. All-penetrating
milk of human kindness, like a morning
mist that slowly lifts – first radiance
of spring. And then they led him, singing,

to the crest of Providence, her ancient town :
near her mother's grave, and the tree-root home
of Roger Williams (that empty tomb) : come,
, they said... and Hobo (that weary clown)

finally opened his eyes, and understood.
His patient limestone, like the milky pages
of a long-lost book, shone forth the meaning
of slow-beaten time – her eyes (blue-emerald).