Sunday, May 06, 2018

Base line

Tom Gill, "Valley of the Shadows," 2013

Taking a measurement, in the sunlight,
before the rains come again. Unlike the
gentlemen surveyors who parsed and
parceled this earth with a Jacob’s Staff
and a Gunter’s chain, I frame my survey
by ear, by heart. Links in a chain pulled
tight—the base line the longest line in a
survey, made by our hands clasped, our
fingers twined until a measure’s marked.
Marked in loneliness past and to come—
the times when the chain’s folded away,
when shadows lengthen until we’re lost
altogether—this, my base line of love and
loneliness, scribed in the same measure.

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