Glasses, November 24, 2021

We didn’t pass, I thought, when I was what, getting new glasses,
so I didn’t see you, pretty sure, out the window in downtown Honolulu,
after nine years, when you were 64, and returned to Black Earth,
turned back to Madison, back to your parents, that pure Norwegian pride,
Go West High! then I couldn’t have seen you, passing, not this time too
on my winter bus ride, my glasses too loose, those icy sidewalks,
how I slipped up, saw where you were then, not Hoyt School,
not the last of the West Middlers, but then a Badger from ’75 to ’78,
I did see how we passed away in Chicago, where I couldn’t see
through the window, how we got lost then, at the Palmer House,
over Belgian waffles, when you said I’m amazing, now I’m amazed
at how my optometrist allowed me to adjust my own vision,
but I still don’t think I saw you, didn’t miss you on the sidewalk,
not here in Honolulu, the French student, then the teacher, my dancer
to Bach, Brahms, Chopin, Emmylou Harris, James Taylor, and Paul McCartney,
how you have wings now, fly from Galaxy of Sound to Vermont Lutheran Church,
from Waukegan, back to Madison, on to Edgewood College Library,
where I wrote you, and we’d never meet, until I finally didn’t see you,
because it wasn’t you on any street anywhere in downtown Honolulu,
it couldn’t be you, I see now anyway, you were already flying too far away
to be near me, so I could see you with any glasses made for me in this world.

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