Jude Hardin

Author, Drummer, Turtle Whisperer

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Location: United States

Friday, April 07, 2006



I can see you there,
down by the waterfall,
planting flowers and smoking Winstons.
Closer to God, you say,
than any dusty old church.
The sound, a serene cacophony,
nature's heavy metal,
saturates the moment.

And then the moment is gone.

You stand on a chair,
A mouse skitters across
Mom's red and gray tile floor
and hides under the stove.
I laugh,
the only time I've seen you show any fear.

You called me Stevie back then,
took me to the park on my birthday,
took pictures with the old Brownie.
I am a cowboy in shades of gray,
six-shooters drawn,
watching you frame the shot,
happy to see you smiling.

And then the moment is gone.

You baptize your legs
in the lazy Clearwater surf,
the eyes of an artist
viewing the sea for the first time.
You carry the box of chisels
from place to place,
have plans or maybe just an affinity
for them.

I hear the sizzle of chicken frying,
best in the world,
feel a cool hand on my fevered head.
Always the nurterer,
always a soul mate,
always there.

You drive me to the hotel,
the day I'm leaving for the Navy,
say, "You don't have to do this, you know."
But I have to.

And then the moment is gone.

I see you at the table
cutting tomatoes for sandwiches,
your eyes failing
but every slice perfect.
Happy in the sun,
the scent of grass that could have waited,
an hour of solitude,
of peace.

You teach me how to drive a car,
nervous as a cat but trying not to show it.
I fumble through,
you are always there.

And then the moment is gone.

I sit for hours by the stereo,
at the old place on Cavelle,
playing stacks of forty-fives,
the rock and roll never too loud
at your house.

Down by the waterfall I hear it again,
the thunderous calming roar.
The moment, the music, never gone,
always there.

In my heart you are always there,
and the moment is never gone.