How Far Away
by R. Dean Ludden
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Distance closes in,
defining its intrusion into space and time;
the rock within my garden,
once a landmark
on that spot, at first half-hidden in the soil,
the wagon lurched, and pioneers cried halt,
made camp, and dug it out
to make a fireside table for the coffeepot.
Now it serves my thoughts, arresting them
before I send them shooting forth;
again it has its day,
a constant in a whirling mode of change.
And was it different from all others?
Imprisoning the moment I created?
I know that the Atlantic beats upon the continent
a hundred hills beyond this plain.
I know what forces play in fantasy,
for I can ride Magellan's bow,
selecting from my memory
the smell of must upon the ropes below,
the ether of the sea
though I am inland bound.
Distance is my friend, my highway
to a life that I once lived,
to a land that I may never walk
...or to a freedom, just a touch away.