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You were not with me in the long boats
in the jungles, through the deserts, not with me
while radios crackled static, not by my side
as I wandered past cities, through villages
spent nights at roadside inns and drinking friendships.
You were not with me while I browsed reference
libraries, bookshops, magazines, encyclopedias
schools and classrooms searching for knowledge
eyes straining by candle light, learning a foreign
language, how to say love in Italian, how to
sum up rows of jittery numbers to achieve the
perfect result every time.
You were not there in the dance halls, waiting
for a smile of friendship, an invitation, not with me
in my strolls alone, dreaming of some lost
acquaintance, or paging through some dusty album
trying to remember a face, how her eyes would
crinkle when she smiled, how she once held my
hand in some shaded glade.
All through my wanderings, I never really missed
you, imagining your existence only once or twice
in some thumbed and dropped science fiction novel
shrugged, almost forgotten in the hurly burly.
I never thought the day would come when I would
possess you, familiar as my fingers, companion, mentor
benevolent lover - jingling, whistling, singing jewel
of glass and aluminum, warming my back pocket,
calling out to itching fingers, at times my only friend.
When you were not here I never missed you. Now I
hold and hug you, cannot live without you.
© Johnmichael Simon
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