The Diaspora

Fireflies. Photo: Fred Huang, Creative Commons. some rights reserved.

I’m not in the habit of making New Year’s resolutions, but the last few years have brought home to me how much I have let myself become isolated. At first, by burning all my energy on the pyre of the workplace, and later by the necessities of the pandemic, and just lately by the momentum of habit. So, this year I aim to reach out more to those I love, but have neglected in my self-absorption. Hopefully while we all remain above ground. 

The Diaspora

For A.H. and all the rest.

That last year we all seemed to shine so brightly,
budding into artists, musicians, painters, writers.
And there was this sense that here was a place
that was ours: this park, this village, these hills.

Together we made something like a firefly lantern
but, when school was done, the lantern split 
and off went everyone, winking in every direction,
except for me, bound for college here at home.

In college another boho band arose; us against the Man,
us against the world. We lived in each other’s pockets,
drank from each other’s glasses. We owned the bars
and ranged free across the rooftops of the night.

But how could it last once its time had passed?
A town once full of brothers and sisters became
filled with strangers. All but a few of my beloved
moved on, a talent I never did get the hang of.

A rookie mistake, wanting others more than they want
to stay. Lovers learn to hide the hunger of the heart
lest they grind the stones of longing into sand.
It was their own longings took them away, after all.

I get it, but never liked it. Phone calls, letters — no.
I needed to be in the same room, breathe the same air.
I wanted to sit close and talk the stars out of the sky again.
But it’s only in dreams now, you briefly back above the soil.

Note: unpublished draft

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3 Responses to The Diaspora

  1. Anne DiNardi says:

    Thank you, Dale!
    I was there!!

    • Dale Hobson says:

      Hi Annie—

      Still miss you a lot. Thanks for following my poetry and encouraging me. I do need to move out of my comfortable rut and reach out more. Terry and I are talking about a week on Cape Cod late this summer. A little stop in the Hudson Valley on the way there would be nice. Let’s be in touch.


  2. Paul Davison says:

    Once again you nailed it! a very perfect piece, I must say. There are so many great quotes in your piece. But the Stopper for me was, “I wanted to sit close and talk the stars out of the sky again.” Yeah!, that was it. Those nights, those talks until dawn. A perfect summing up of what it meant to be young and alive in those early days.

    Thank you,

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