(Still) Standing O
A Sculpture Built and Poem
Both Dedicated to My Dear Friend, Orlando Bagwell
We walk the sculpture park
With your daughter and grandson,
You, standing tall . . .
As you did behind the camera,
on the tennis court
behind the lectern.
coaching the teen girls
When they’d enter the bathrooms at break
Seemingly never to come out.
Dear friend of many years,
Near or far, one coast or the other,
Unbowed, your look no less intense.
Always a faraway look.
I never knew where it landed.
Now it’s destination even further afield.
It was on the tennis court
We most related,
Easily forward and back,
Side to side,
gliding across seamlessly.
I know where I am to go
But can no longer get there
Or meet the ball to find it’s proper home.
And you are not sure where you are
Or when you are
or who you are
Or what to do with a racquet in your hand.
We are still standing, you and I,
Each shaking in his own way,
A few years past our primes
And yet, a million times removed.
We have proven what we will over past years
As we pondered
The great questions of the day.
It is another day.
We still have more to do or say.
Now there are more questions than answers.
It was so nice to see you,
Whoever you now are,
So much now locked away. . .
A different kind of silence.
It seems the hard drive of your being,
My dear friend hijacked
Without a way to ransom.
my memory intact . . .
I will always remember you,
Eyes so very focused,
Pummeling the fuzzy yellow ball . . .