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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.

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© Johnmichael Simon



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