That moment when

This land where shilly meets shally is popular with tourists,
although there are still some that prefer to run headlong through briars.

On every street corner you’ll find the silence between words,
pauses to breathe and reconsider – birthplace of James Tiberius –
neighbor to uh’s and ah’s, next door to the quarter note rest.

Some vague intuition niggles at you before stepping off the curb
and you deign to spare a glance for proverbial onrushing busses.

You lean in at the end of the first date and clocks stop running.
Confidence, beautiful rose in the desert, wilts in heat of passion
and you start second-guessing before ever acting for the first time.

Fingers hover over the return key pondering Schrodinger’s email.
Alive or dead, everything will still be different when time begins again.

At the entrance of a church, you wonder if lightning will strike –
cliches seem to be popular in this nation-state – or worse, if the pious
will look askance in the pause before bread and wine
as you ponder the risk of being one with Christ.

Hikers stepping onto a foot bridge across a chasm,
writers committing words to blank page,
mothers calling children with bad news:

They come to this land for the endless panorama of possibility,
frozen moments before everything changes.
They come for rest and contemplation
and as fearful refugees, hoping to stay.

©2019 Kenneth W. Arthur