poem for Dave (work in progress)

the left knee of your jeans has a small tear in it
dropped from there to the ground
on several memorable occasions
a tear no larger than a penny

one solitary tear
spelled the same as tear
which sounds the same as tier
like on a higher level

and you’ve been there, my friend
for years in space, seeking a level most of us couldn’t attain
but you’d always remain grounded in your jeans and tees,
with us
singing the songs that make us remember,
strumming the strings that weave us together
red country, blues city, and your purple tee
poking holes in all our self-righteous ideologies

you sing justice
you build the space where sound echos
and draw strings to shake us

the world is out of tune
but you have a good ear, a strong hand, and a steady beat
to make us

connect on your loom, a tapestry
you shape us,
as family

on the porch with ripped jeans
we bloom
when you spill a little of your drink on us
warmth in every drop of your spirit

falling like tears
spelled the same as tears

but if there were holes for each drop
we’d be naked by now
swimming in salty regrets and sweet joys
like the emperor’s sad clothes
dissolving as hard truths rain on our wicked western fantasies
but we are of the land, brave and true
and Cathy and Dave, it’s thanks to you
we can smile and forever enjoy our times with a crew
like family

wearing each other’s clothes
holes and all
tears and tears
and if ever you should fall
know that we’re there with your left knee
playing the earth like a drum
that you’ve built carefully from
echos and accents
of vibrating spaces
with a love words cannot capture
like our smiling faces

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