Two Poems

Tell Me What is Wrong

Talk to me, Gena.
I’m here to bring comfort
but first
I must know what I’m comforting.

I’m giving you a hearing.
No, this is definitely not a flirtation.
Yes, you are beguiling.
But your face looks subject
to three times the Earth’s gravity.

So tell me your troubles.
A calm voice is preferred
but if tears do manifest themselves,
I’ll merely wipe them.
I won’t run.

Yes, there’s a message in your silence.
But I’m not getting it.
I need a trail of words
like breadcrumbs in a fairytale.
Something I can follow
before the hungry pigeons get to them.

Tick-tock. Tick-tock.
Time speaks at least.
But it’s not the one here that’s begging for a cure.
Make it brief if you need to.
But give me something.

This is beginning to feel like a siege.
Don’t worry.
I’ll let the coffee and the aspirin through.

But why not treat your problem like a story
that happened to someone else.
We can spend a few minutes in the third person.
Bad things happen to other people.
So let them happen.

Besides, I have a kind heart
and it needs the work.
You have a broken one
I’ve heard from worse.


The Hike to You

I once figured I could get to you
the way I hike,
sweating the rough terrain,
coasting the gentle downhill.

I had the compass after all
and you were magnetic north
when you weren’t being the stars in the heavens.
And, besides, I had a steady walking stick.

I just had to keep at it,
climbing the craggy cliffs,
stepping over slippery stones,
scoping out the mountain passes
and slipping on through.
I went by the wind.
I took note of where the shadows fell.
I had my map of the terrain
which you might call a heart
but I know as topography.

Then night fell,
clouds took away the heavens,
my stick snapped in two,
my compass spun in circles.
I was nowhere in your world.
It was being lost that found me.