For Lucie
by Amy D'Amico

The wind throws leaves along the flat of the street
beneath a sky where a blue crane swings above the usual skyline
with a flag flying at her mast
at end of day, still the laborers in this union town hold to the old traditions of respect.
Don't ever hit me when I'm talking to you
Rick the boxer, a bantam, said his mentor told him. His mentor was a beefy man,
and he paid attention, rapt
as always full of his own ideas of what rapt meant acourse
looking shiny-eyed or some such and still one day
hit him, right in the middle of a sentence,
just a little, grazed him
coming up on his chin and his mentor showed him what he meant, see?
Hit him like a bear.
Oh, he clubbed me, Rick related grinning.
I knew what he meant after that, and learned to listen from then on.
For me, I learn nothing, still, I have trouble staying in the moment
or the place that I'm at and then Lucie-
She would be frustrated, me writing about her,
or shriek her laughter or explain
in twenty or so ideas how it becomes impossible to show up for a day
when a day is demanding as it is
or explain, conversely (and wondrously making both ideas coalesce) that it wasn't fair--
Who can disagree? I used to follow along the neon trail
of her sense until I was tired, and then extract myself
with the promise that we would become the closest of friends,
we would borrow earrings from the china bowls of each other's houses
stay up discussing sociopolitics
as soon as we both were free.
It turns out not everyone gets past whatever it is
holding us back: a fixed idea, a habit, cancer, doubt, the crane swung above my head
and only the concrete barrier by the sidewalk kept me this afternoon from scurrying
to the other side of the street like a leaf in the changing of the seasons.
Whatever it is, holding us back
from the wide acceptance that Winter comes next,
is meant to be there, one more time around
the sun and it's cold now, here, and wants a warm light.

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