O Life of my life.
— Saint Augustine
I’ve stood on the fairgrounds of life
where there is not a bit of shade.
I’ve drunk champagne
from the crystal goblet and roamed
the immaculate gardens of my generation.
But even on the island of Ios,
“Let’s Twist Again” echoing
along the cobblestone corridors, I was dreaming
of somewhere else. Here I am still living
watered-down days among empty paper cups
and sawdust—rushing to the next
closed door. In the City of Light—
the Observation Wheel turns us slowly.
O life of my life, why do I insist on missing the obvious?
A cold dip in a pool on a windy day,
leaves dropping into the blue. My father and I dancing
on my wedding day to “A String of Pearls.”
Why do I fall back into unknowing?
Where is the prize? The world
explained? O life
of my life, there you are—
don’t slip away.
First published in the Literary Review of Canada, October 2021.