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of the ways I came
and here before –
you waited my arrival
kept the candle lit
beyond the cursing sun
wishing now
a welcome home
without the need for blaming
without the want to understand
the reason I was gone

no want for tears
we gave them all
and kicked the boards
for crying –
swore to never love
if love were true
passed a night (or more than one)
without a word between us –
spent the chill of winter
wide awake
and back to back

I wondered
as to moments –
longest time
til I would go –
how much of this
was more than fate –
to prove it wasn’t easy
years from love we loved
before the first
we came too late

straight back chairs
empty lockets –
swore the stars to secret
I left a crumpled note
beneath the bed
planted corn between the
vines –
and waited yellow roses
marked the ways
you knew me
one by lonely one

. . .