Many folks suggested we move out of our house after Paul died there, but it wouldn't have made a difference. He is everywhere. So, to end this dreaded month, here's the poem I wrote at Esalen last July. -- about seeing him everywhere. It's a topic I have come back to over and over.
And, perhaps with a new month starting tomorrow, the topic will also be new.
Today I Saw You on the Hill
Just after my morning walk on the highway
up to South Coast,
just after my relaxing soak in the big corner bath,
just as I start my trudge up the hill,
towel in hand ready to dump in the box,
I see you engrossed in a conversation.
I know you instantly
the buzz cut
the long sideburns
the slight build
the intense blue eyes
giving full attention
to your friend
as you talk.
Today for some reason
the clothes are wrong.
Instead of your Doc Martins
you wear bright striped sneakers
Instead of the brown leather book bag
slung across your body
that I bought you for school
you have a backpack.
Still I know it is you.
Like on the other days when I see you
in your dark gray sweater
or black jacket
and levis crossing the street
or on the pier
or at the piano
or sitting outside Starbucks.
Like when I see you at work,
young, brilliant, and so sure of yourself,
I have no doubts.
Please go on, my beautiful boy.
Give it a rest.
I don’t want to think about you here
I don’t want to write about you anymore
I’ve written about you ad nauseum
and still you won’t leave me alone.
Even here among the hummingbirds
and the pines and salt air
I’m not safe.
You’re dead. Your choice.
So stop bothering me already.
If you wanted to stay in my life
and bother me
why did you choose to die?