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These Two Friends

Peter Christensen
From:   Winter Range. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: Thistledown Press, 2001.


for Glen and Jim

these two friends I know
are on the radio
speaking poems of fish and friendship
their gentle voices swimming
the dark shoals of Jan Lake

it is as if
I am with them
standing by the fire Jim has built
against the cold off-shore wind

its warmth crackles around our ankles
reaches up toward our outstretched hands
and pulls us down   leaning back
we open our coats to
the slow heat of confession

I admit
I am unruly and isolated
too quick to argue
that contradictions and compromise
lead to imperfect people acting
upon a perfect world

I too have guarded the bitter flames
of envy and refusal

against the winds of forgiveness
history wove traps
my heart could not escape
I am ashamed to have wept
the thick and bloody tears of anger

o soft tongued friends
these confessions are of the fire
and I beg you to stop my mouth
with gentle rags and bind my thoughts
before they become maudlin

then soft as water speak your poems
your lapping admonitions
for only then will fish and friendship
calm this shrinking vessel
where I hoard your counsel



Peter Christensen's works copyright © to the author.


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