The Familiar

Twenty years from now,
twenty years ago,
today, tonight,
a singer I do not know
sings in a language I
don’t understand, and
through the clear glass
of liquid poured with reverence
and sipped with awe,
her cadences run up and down
a familiar melodic sequence,
and bring me to
a sadness I needn’t be reminded of

If it is caught in time, it will remain
a gentle poignancy, no more,
nothing to drown in.
This is what comes with
a few years and a little distance,
this is perspective
this is control
this is the not so fond
farewell to an excess of guilt and grief.

PBSweeney 2006


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