There Were Lilacs Then
by Ray Fowler, MD
Copyright Jan 1, 1990

(Time in Space Home)

there were lilacs then
and honey blossoms growing
not for the want of looking
did my mind miss the softness of their petals

how like the madness that is now
is that sadness that was then
by chance could the heart's revisit
somehow rekindle lost time's nearness?
then could my roughened edge be
the less to spurn love's return?

I'd given up, you see,
new hope, neither bought nor free
so much the better to be so much the wiser
a faintish heart away it flies; or
brood the bitching brain that comely web of love denied
might nay but bury hope as even fate's unknown I plied

and then...
astride a soft stool on Sunday I thought of you
as the south-faced window gave entry to late day's color
it was between the time the thrasher lept from the
white oak off to the sweeter fruit of the dogwood
searching for something I couldn't see
and the later moment when an amber fluff covered the sun
while the yard was still and my heart was quiet

it was a warm thought, warm like my window sill
on an early summer day
warm like the first burst of a martini in my chest
warm like a good feeling, a deep feeling, like the best
of feeling that has a beginning but no palpable end

and I wrestled (gently) with this feeling
and, growing weary after a time,
gave over and let it have its way