he saw it coming

i had this pop into my head last night as i was putting the house down for the night. i was tired. As i took my evening pills, this thought popped into my head. i mean it popped in there and i knew it was not going to be there in the morning unless i wrote it down. So i came back to this infernal machine and pounded out the thought, expanded on it a bit. This morning, i smoothed it up a bit till it sort of sounded to me like it should.

i was going to send it to three of my best friends, the three i know to whom i can say pretty damn well what i’m thinking and not be thought of less, even if they don’t exactly agree: Henry Harding, who is my brother from childhood, who i don’t see anywhere near often enough, and who gives me strength and hope while staying grounded; Pete Toennies, my Navy sidekick (or am i his…who cares) who disagrees with me to the point where we can’t agree who disagrees with whom first, but is always there to laugh at the absurdity of it all; and then there is my brother Joe, my best friend, who went to the opposite corner of the country from me (or perhaps i went here after he settled in the Northeast corner), who had a totally different career than mine, i.e. preacher/Navy officer, and who thinks like i do except more sanely. Then i said to myself what the heck. I should have no secrets. Too hard to keep them just like it is hard work if you lie to others or yourself and then try to live by that lie.

So here it is:

he saw it coming, knew it was not going to come out well for him,
he just kept right on like nothing was wrong;
i mean
he saw it coming
like an old time steam locomotive, screeching whistle, belching smoke,
barreling out of the fog headed straight for him
he kept moving on down the tracks
head on
as if he was going to stop that boiler of metal moving fire with his bare hands,
like the herd of bison, roaring, snorting out of the dust they raised
on the plains
he just kept on plowing toward them
with his mule and plow;
don’t know why;
he never did know why;
he just kept headed for sure disaster;
perhaps he just thought he was grand enough
to brace himself against that steaming, screaming locomotive
to rend asunder that roaring, snorting, thundering bison herd
tame them
all by himself;
putting one foot ahead of the other
doggedly moving toward the inexplicable but inevitable
train crash, stampede.
i think not;
i’m a’thinking
he just had enough faith, enough trust, not enough sense
was bullheaded enough
to believe he could somehow get through
move on.



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