Giving Her Away
Giving Her Away
Fade up: a noisy baggage claim, you’re free from school at last,
And so these things begin again: You step into the past.
The long drive in, the town has changed, and she looks older still,
You talk about the same old things. . .you know you always will.
And while you deftly guard your pride, you speak in shoals and squalls,
And though you wish her words would slide, you’re climbing up the walls,
She the mother, you the child—roles both doomed to play,
And now you’ve started giving her away.
Cut to you years later, you have flown in from the coast,
The house seems vaguely haunted, and you fear that you’re the ghost.
You join her in the kitchen, where you sit and watch the rain,
You chat and gossip, but your mind’s already on the plane.
And somewhere at twelve thousand feet, you’re fighting sudden tears,
And wondering at how incomplete your time with her appears. . .
So many things you would take back, so many words to say,
They’ll greet you when you’re giving her away.
Giving her up to the storms of age,
Giving her to another page,
Giving her to a distant place,
Changing your memory of her face,
These debts aren’t real, nor are they free. . .
Regret is the spirit’s currency.
Before the story fades to black, you visit once again,
And talk of nothing on the porch, and quarrel in the den.
You’ve made a pact within yourself to reach her distant shore,
But your new words come out no different than the ones before.
And when you look beyond the tears, you’re strangers tied by blood,
Though you seek clues in all those years that rushed by in a flood,
She’ll still be miles from where you are, this side of yesterday,
And so you’ll find you’re giving her away. . .
No matter how you clutch the clock to hold the hours at bay,
You have already given her, you have already given her, you have already given her away.