This is the third entry into Stanzas, a feature on the blog in which I share some of the poetry and lyrics I've written over the years, along with the stories of what inspired them.
"Oh, Francis, it's so good to see you," they said.
"It's been such a long, long time.
Come and sit with us here at the table
And stay with us for a while."
Francis sat down and told of his travels,
Describing these places with fondess and praise.
Francis could talk of such things for hours
Or, given the chance, perhaps even days.
Someone said, "Why all this fuss about Francis?
What of the things that we've done since he's gone?"
But another said, "Nothing has changed but the weather
And the page of the calendar, the day that we're on."
Everyone reveled in Francis's stories.
They ate their supper and returned to their beds.
They envied dear Francis underneaeth the surface,
Deep in the most secret parts of their heads.
Francis looked 'round and knew he was different
And wouldn't return to that old town again,
Stuck in a time of new things still imagined,
Frozen like a photograph for remembering when.
"Going so soon?" someone asked before leaving.
"Wouldn't you like to stay for a while?"
Francis just smiled and said, "Thank you for asking,"
Turned and kept walking mile after mile.
Francis knows that summer turns to autumn.
The trees, they sense the coming of the night.
They drop their leaves and age with winter,
And the leaves will return along with the light.
The world keeps turning, the borders expanding,
New things keep happening all over the land.
Some people stand up and move along with it.
Francis likes marching in that kind of band.
Often he'll turn and look over his shoulder
And think of the places he's leaving behind.
Some people wonder, but Francis, he wanders
Off to see what all he can find.
I wrote this in 2007, so it's a little more recent than the others I've shared so far. It's another "escape" kind of poem. Where I come from, people don't often venture too far from home. It's a way of life that always had me feeling a little left of center growing up. When I started writing this piece, I had no idea who Francis was going to be. Somewhere along the way, he became me.