I can feel failure

like an empty bowl

resting in my hands.

The low warm

winter sun

leans against

my best blue suit.

I want to lie down

in a long field

of yellow grass

and sleep until darkness

with great, fierce-faced birds

circling far above

my meticulous regrets.

Today two young women

asked me which way to the river

and it seemed like

the best question

I had heard in years,

simple and worthwhile,

a good thing to know.

I should have pointed to my heart.

I should have gone down

to the river right then

in my serious blue suit

and forgiven myself

for being away from my heart

and its simple intention.

I should have gone to the river

and stayed there

like a promise

made good after many years.