Two Hundred Days Poem by Edward Steinhardt

Two Hundred Days

The second time we met
It was at this place
Where the sand goes
Down to the sea.
You walked to me
A dozen times
Down the walk that skirts
What are left of the dunes;
Here where we sat
Together over the duration
Of 200 days.
You came to me
So many times
With that narrow walk of yours
To our kiss below the moon
That climbed our curtain of stars
As if it was put there
For just you and me...

Tonight, it's not so brilliant
With you gone:
Just one bright star,
Clouds and waves.
I told you once
If you were no longer here,
I could not come here again.
Was this me fortelling
The death of us?
Or is this somehow
The resurrection of us again,
Here where stand
The three posts
Between the table and the sea
You said reminded you of Calvary?
Since you are with someone else now,
Have I, too, reached
The crest of this dune
And my own Golgatha,
Alone, hung between strangers
In the darkening hour?

You always said
You found me at the beach.
But here I am, dear Lukasz,
Here at our table,
Lost, waiting, waiting, waiting...
One more time.
You said you loved me.
It took you a long time
To say that.
So how do we go
From love to this-
Where I am here and you are...
For what or who
Shapes us into friends and love;
The sharing, the touching, the looks;
To be ripped asunder,
Torn from the throat
Like some Hound of the Baskervilles?

Oh, I loved you as no other.
Remember when I bent my knee
And asked you to marry me?
Did I have your hand then,
Or was it only your hand?
Even after you said no,
You said, 'I want
A quiet life with you...'
And I counted on that,
As I counted on the stars
And wished upon every star
That fell our way.
'Did you see that,
Did you see it, Lukasz? '
Yes, you always saw
The same things I did.

And now I am here in Paradise*,
Here among strangers
Who pass my way.
And I am waiting for you
And that narrow walk of yours
And for your gentle smile...
And for you to sit down
So that we can watch
The reflection of the moon
That draws a shimmering road
From us to heaven
Across the sea...

And to think,
For a second time,
I have told you
How beautiful your eyes are.
...And now I am crying,
And there are more tears in me
Than in the sea.
And I want you with me...
Can I hope against hope
That you will come to me-
And I can draw a circle
Around your heart again-
And tell you how good you are?
'Time and patience, '
You always said.
'Time and patience.'
Can I count on that?

I want my best friend back.

*Key West

Edward Steinhardt

Edward Steinhardt

Wayne, Michigan
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