We had to let a lot of things go.
Our safety.  Our principles.  The cat, sleeping,
the laundry basket we came to know,
The joy that would tap upon our door
and leave us just like that,
cinnamon and sun and overflow;

Ceiling staring down and Kim
in the kitchen mixing spices;
the clutter; the TV and the radio
turned down low;
the escargot; the spit; the illustrated vices,

A replica that would lie silent in the corner
and occasionally go,
my captain that made rhymes,
Yours that would push plastic trains;

Gods who would kiss us and tell us
they loved us sometimes,
mother who would stand, for an evening,
worried when the journey was slow;
intense pleasure doing nothing;
whaling vessels in classic novels;
We had to let a lot of things go.

Our youth; knowing and pain that together grow;
matters just beyond reach; fires on the porch;
ropes in the tool-shed; chimes that would chime faintly and low;
you, the first one to speak because you would always know,

I, who had to hope because I wasn’t able to concentrate
entirely on the path or where, slightly
off the path, you and I were supposed to go.
You saw him, once; his big toe.

Art-shows in the shadows, the sun standing
perfectly still to make bright maps
for the understanding, intricate and slow;
the holding of breath in immense places;
the day we saw lying on our backs;
the priest who said, “off you go, off you go;”
someone in the distance claps
or laughs, there is always something,
there is always something we don’t know,
Off in the trees, there he was, with someone;
Places for our games, and designs we couldn’t show;
the path that virtue struggled against;
We had to let a lot of things go.

The violent triumph over us of someone we didn’t know;
Moths, leaks, letters.  The movement of verses to-and-fro.
Players, positions, horses, scattered ladders,
money floating in space, meetings,
rocky hills we rolled down, ignorant of woe.

Decisions we made at dawn;
sleeping without dreaming;
planning all night a song
cancelled the next morning,
the night’s invitation to lie down,
to lie down and stay, without
saying yes or no.

Playing with memory, making memorial play,
stopping at the middle of the court to
turn back for the ball,
to run back, and retrieve the ball,
the calculations behind the tree;
vibrations, stamina, the try alone, a moon desultory;

Observing the singular crow.
After the job and the dream, another hallway,
The loss of loss, the poem’s end, the question,
You must have seen, you must have known,
but now, remembered in sorrow,
we hardly remember—but no,
There is the fish, yes, the fish in the brown stream;

The routine we never quite got to know;
The jar and the glass and the folder;
We had to let a lot of things go.


  1. noochinator said,

    June 27, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    So different from your style in 2016 — not a criticism, just an observation….

    • thomasbrady said,

      June 27, 2016 at 11:00 pm

      You’re entirely right, Nooch. I need to distance myself a little from the love-sick. I went crazy a couple of years ago. Love and poetry touched in a way they perhaps shouldn’t have touched.

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