It would never be just one last trip.
I would promise myself
that once I uttered, with tears in my throat
catching my breath and stalling the moment
in my final
goodbyes to the stone faced French lady
on the waters, no sword in hand, a now skewed vision
of what it was to be part of a less free world
in her dead expressionless eyes,
a monkey on her back, damned dirty
politics playing games with a woman I love,
it still would never be goodbye.
I want one more trip to New York
and see the things that I could not see
the last time I said goodbye
with the damage I had caused at a party
on 77th Street, her final kiss goodbye
as I walked out the door.
I want to see Dennis and Carole again,
their homes always welcoming
and full of stories of how they met
an Englishman abroad,
I would like very much to shake
the hand of Carlos and Time
But that would not be the end,
I have never seen Chicago, a baseball
thrown in anger, I have never seen the Pacific,
all rolling hills of watery fury, the beauty
of such a sight from the beaches
where Jim Morrison prowled
and lurked, disturbed by his own brilliance.
I would go back again and again and again
to see you and kiss you
dear sweet lady of liberty, and I would
remember my own liberty, so hard
fought for, now under flag of truce,
now under white flag of surrender,
I find the days of your shores, so distant,
into a memory
that nobody else will care for.
Ian D. Hall 2017