The Threat of Distance

by Ed Higgins

The lone young man walking in the distance, 
receding silently, 
although my eyes wish to hold him. There 
on a path never ending. To call him back perhaps, when there is need, 
even when there is no need.

The distance quickens and blurs between us 
like rising summer heat. First, the shade of trees, then the path's
dream-like bend into afternoon's mottled light.
Finally, only the stand of oaks and long green underbrush 
remain behind, where an imagined figure 
I could have dreamed, must have dreamed,
walked away as steadily as youth fades.

Was he even there, this young man I was once, 
in dark blue sweater and faded jeans,
walking into silence, into allegory even, 
or truth itself given the mood?

Over the slight rise now, 
behind which he still must be walking, 
only more distant.