Touch me in the morning
By Jules Watson
There is a certain delicate pale green phosphorescent light that hits the trees at seven o’clock in the morning in Riverside Park.
It is a gentle and somehow fragile light that is so overwhelming in its beauty that it can actually take your breath away.
Growing up on Riverside Drive is not like growing up anywhere else in the city.
There is a stillness and a grandeur and a curve and bend to the avenue that always made my young curious self want to wander along its cobblestoned path and get lost in reverie.
Years later as I peer into the empty mansion on the corner of 81st Street in the morning rain, I ponder the lives and loves that have lived and perished behind these splendid, now deserted walls…
Why won’t they whisper to me?
I think I hear them, but it’s the child in me dreaming, with a damp flushed cheek pressed into a pillowcase with faded rosebuds
As my soul mate and I wrap warm hands around each other’s waists and stroll to the river we find ourselves on our worn, crooked and slightly jagged bench
The one that is always waiting
Loyal and true
Even in the depths of a cold and lonely winter’s day
The one longing to eavesdrop on our secret words and promises
To spy on a kiss
The Spring clouds look like castles today
Oh look, there is a dragon I missed
The world has turned inside out
Where is it safe?
So much sorrow and blood
It’s as though mud has covered us in a heaving storm
Must we must we give in to the
tears that fall?
They come all the time with no notice at all
They come from fatigue and anger and sadness
That can stab like a knife
As we watch from the sidelines
this massacre, this madness
I ache for life to be gorgeous and serene like a lovers scene on a sunny day
Will we ever be the same?
I see myself in a flowered dress in a field, awaiting my lover
The daydream is interrupted
Will one day the illness and division and isolation and strife become a fable?
Where again we are able
To love and to laugh
To gather and debate
We’ve been told in the end we create our own fate
who winks as we pass
waiting to see if we have the moxie, the sass
the brains and the heart
To repair this broken world
And make a new start…
I hunger for joy and knowledge and days everlasting
And time to slow down
Give me back some years, I muse
Anyone listening, anyone around?
Nighttime and moonbeams can bring demons and regret
The morning is for peace
To make love
I believe in the dawn
I believe in the light
O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light?
I believe in connections
I believe in humankindness
And upon reflection
Hope is my Bible
This can be our time
We must rise above
There is still so much more
To feel and discover, to believe in and to teach
With love in your heart,
No star is out of reach…
Other poems by Jules Watson have also appeared in the Rag: Coming Home, A Love Letter to the Upper West Side, and Hope Springs Eternal, A Love Letter to Central Park.