The Way Station
Don’t let the now fool you.
It has been a long journey,
and that sense of peace you see
on this old face did not arrive on its own.
It was work to arrive quietly where I am.
Work and pain and failure and a host of wrong turns.
Times of lostness; listening to the wrong voices
before finding my own.
Some of the scenery was magnificent.
Some was ragged and broken, a blight.
There was too much darkness,
lasting far too long for a natural night.
Along the way, I took notes.
A traveler’s journal, left out too often
for others to read,
a reference book of the things I got wrong
and the lessons learned.
Do not think this face. Peaceful.
At rest with myself, calm in the storm,
is the destination. It is a way station, nothing more.
I am not fool enough to believe peace lasts.
It is a fragile thing and always there are those with weapons
built from their own fears, shooting.
Sometimes blindly. Sometimes with careful aim.
But I am content with this way station.
A beautiful place in an uncertain life
where few things make sense,
and finally you have learned, they don’t need to.
About this poem
Someone in the diner this morning told me I had a peaceful face. I didn’t correct them.
The picture was taken in Bellows Falls, VT, where they have a train graveyard.
At my niece’s wedding, someone told me I looked so “serene”. I was in turmoil!
I know. So strange, huh? My wife and I talk about that all the time.