©2019 by Stephen Schwei

              Passages for My Children

Rounding the crest of a small hill,

I am stunned by the sweep of the road ahead.

It curves so gently and easily into the valley far below,

so verdant and alive, but sparsely populated.

It’s somewhere in Ohio, but I’ve never been able

to find it again, to re-experience the slow and gentle,

but majestic descent, as if being embraced by the land.

 

Alison was born into my arms,

so peaceful and calm as I held her and rocked with her.

Her laughter brightens many moments.  Her memory

gives rise to many stories from the past.  She’s so eager

to keep moving, as if driven, guided, clear,

and trusting of the road ahead.

 

Night fell long ago, and we couldn’t stop

until we reached the other side of a craggy

mountain, laced by the curvy road,

another anxious driver at our back.

Warren Zevon played on the radio

in a foreign country.  We had no idea

which way the road was going to turn next,

so all we could do is drive patiently

and cautiously, and keep the other driver at bay.

 

Daniel searches down paths he has long ago

thought through.  They’re tense and competitive,

but he maintains his edge.  He leads,

whether or not they are following.

He’s wild, he’s exploring, he navigates

the tough and challenging roads.  His passions

lead him to that elusive summit.

 

Just after dusk settled and no more glimmer of light

showed on the horizon, the stars shone bright.

The only interference came from us,

with our headlights beaming into the dark night,

fracturing the otherwise beautiful and desolate

empty summer air.  We had no choice

but to turn them off as we drove,

following the curves in the road

by starlight.  Knowing we could be caught,

but it was worth the chance

to blend with the night

and the thin streams of millions of stars

that guided us through the darkness.

  

David follows a singular path,

lit by the pasts of so many ancient travelers

and the people who have studied them since

and have tried to make sense of it all.

Vast centuries have intervened.

Stars have burst and imploded,

others live on, and he carves his path

through dimly lit, but clearly illuminated curve

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