I saw my past in the park today
between the lilacs and the evergreens
strolling on the lane in the evening glow-
I on the north loop around the lagoon,
a weekly walk or two to stay in shape.
I almost didn't see it, or him me
so focused I on my walking breaths
and my past on - well, I couldn't say.
We stopped and double-checked with stares,
my hands too sweaty for a proper shake.
"I did not think to see you here." I hope
I did not sound chagrined. "I come and go,"
was all he said, yet did not move, but stood
as if the standing - just there - might do some good.
I had no invitation left to give,
so said, "you're looking rather pale, you know."
"Truth be told," my past replied - it might have winked,
twas hard to tell in the fading light -
"I've been away, a vacation roundabout."
"Ah, that explains the bumps and bruises."
"Yes, one gets tossed on these ocean cruises.
It was depressing for a while, at sea;
we wandered aimless where we'd been,
the captain lost the compass or the stars -
or so I thought - but one hope steered me on
and here I am - an unexpected place."
"Well, there you are, but I must walk,
my health, my breath - thanks for the talk" -
and then, I had to ask, although I knew:
"That hope?" "Some day, I would be you."