In Medias Res

(For Stewart Warren)

In this poem, there is no past or future,
only an eternal now. In medias res.
At John’s rustic house between the cottonwoods
of Corrales, take a left past the llamas.
A sign scrawled on a white paper bag: Poetry This Way!
Puppies growl and tumble, a banquet table heavy with food.
Julie, Our Lady of the Canyon, bestows a blessing.
In medias res: in the midst of things.
Stewart’s harmonica. Hibiscus and sunflowers.
Suzy with her crazy contraption to view Venus Transit.
Saffron fabric draped over the porch.
No reason to worry about the start or the finish, he says,
just jump in. Dog star blinks overhead.
Words, of course, float down like leaves shaken loose.

Oh, I count four gone: Jerry, Rhiannon, lovely Susan, and, yes, Julie too.
Five including Stewart.
But wait, we are here, in medias res,
not yet looking back at this beautiful day,
not tallying losses to come.
Liz continues to play the cello, the end pin pushed into the rich soil.
Hakim’s son blows more bubbles.
Everywhere Stewart is, the midpoint finds him.
Santa Fe doorways, turquoise Taos.
Drifter, traveler, wanderer.
Belonging nowhere means belonging everywhere, doesn’t it?

Stewart’s top hat shines above the fray,
his long legs weaving through the crowd.
Somewhere between heaven and earth, at peace in the middle,
in medias res.

Published in Fixed & Free Anthology