We meet again after twenty plus years
A grand viewing of impetuous portraits
Paintings saved from a lost empire
Much older than our own

I once imagined I might woo them
But imagination does get weak on facts
They were shrewd and ignored some facts
But never the important ones

Back then seduced by charm and looks
I nod and laugh; I am no longer?
They look good; smile alluringly
Parade me through their passing years

One has a son at her old college
Happy, carefree, adoring his future
She glows in his remembered light

Now she’s head of major committees
Organizations I don’t quite place
Yet critical; the unappreciated foundation
That silent base that keeps the wheels rolling

The other stays more elusive
Speaking gently of fortunate wanderings
A rich home cozy but not forthcoming:
If you don’t already know her story
You really can’t be told

In past days I thought it lack of nerve
Insufficient guts to ask them out
Now see what they immediately grasped

I could not offer club nor country house
Excellent parties and shimmering friends
Couldn’t be bothered to pay attention
Which they knew quickly there and then

And my work lacked cash and glamor:
The old, the sick, the not yet dead
Useful, acceptable but insufficient
As I remain to this day

Through them I see my younger self
So foolish, so romantically schooled
Still naive, yet
How could I ever imagine
Planets that only orbit each other
Might someday close and connect?

Of course we promise to keep in touch
Like many old promises it will stay unfulfilled
Far more than the next twenty years