River of Time

A soft rustle from leaves
making their way earthward
on their yearly pilgrimage
brings forth idle thoughts
of summer’s oppressive heat
when I once stood staring
at some scattered raindrops

not seeing my own coming storm
I remove my hat and wipe sweat
from my brow then return
to an ever growing pile of wood
meant to feed a hungry winter’s fire
Lord, please guide me gently down
this slow flowing river of time


follow the sun, follow a fading sun
out Highway 290 to the edge of Hill Country
withered cottonwoods with stunted mesquites
offer deceptive shade along Main Street
to a mixture of adobe, brick and clap-board
old and not so old with none being new

if by chance you must stop for the single light
you’ll see a general store across from a saloon
occupants of a twisted, faded hitching post
suffer patiently in the merciless sweltering heat
turn left at the light and follow a narrow street
to where it becomes lost among heat waves
heat waves dancing among dust devils

a dirt path follows a sagging fence past a door
of a weathered cottage once the home of Meyer
a withered little man, dried by the Texas sun
until he appeared juiceless; yet I once saw him cry
a great respecter of solitude and silence
who could talk for hours and hours
when one was there who needed to listen

his patience went far beyond mere patience
he could sit for hours lost in his own thoughts
maybe wandering through other places and times
seeking answers for questions as yet unasked
at times I can see his calloused hand reaching
beckoning me to come join him

I keep saying not yet, not yet
but not as loud or often as in the past

…..Jerry Marks