The Dove Brief Flight

The Dove’s Brief Flight

Daniel Rutberg

October 2013

 

I am weightless and floating

in the absence of light

I am mourning

the dove’s brief flight

 

How does one feel

when your first best friend dies

your blood brother

And broker of peace 

 

As children we saw rites and rituals 

dashed against the magnificent cliffs

of science as it emerged

in all its glorious forms

of practice and theory

 

We poured over magazines

predicting flying cars and

highways in the sky,

and carefully followed plans

to build miniature motors and circuit boards

 

We saw pictures of dinosaurs and modern tribes of people

who lived in huts, hunting with spears

then watched reports of Sputnik circling the globe

 

We drove go-carts, ride on mowers

Even slid our friends father’s sports car in a ditch

and learned that gravity always wins

 

I remember the talks we had as teens

while we walked along dusty roads

We shared philosophies and moments of teenage angst

and planned exotic travel and wild adventures 

and wouldn’t it be cool to ……

shared dreams on the way to Dairy Queen

 

When tragedy struck my family

he was the first at my side

a true friend

when my father died

 

As young men

we chose ethics over dogma

Inclusion over bigotry

peace over war

And for the comfort that the sharp edges

of science and engineering just couldn’t provide

we found music in one of its simplistic forms

studied the blues harp

an instrument he described

“as the sound closest to the human voice”

 

 

 

Our friendship changed over time

I moved away

he traveled the world

we both settled down

on different coasts

 

 

As adults we spoke by phone from time to time

but always picked up our conversations

where we had left them

 

Until I stood at his memorial

I never realized how much of me

still clung to our credo

was formed in those years of our friendship

 

His mother, brother, sisters, son and I

recite with the Rabbi

take turns with the shovel

teaspoons of earth and droplets of our tears

fall upon the box that holds his ashes

 

I return to his mothers side

where he would have stood

Her hand in mine

 

Without the shamans shield of tribe or clan

I am weightless and floating

in the absence of light

caught between creation

and the dove’s brief flight

 

I think of my friend

 

Always searching for peace within himself

Helping others to achieve the same

forgiving and generous to a fault

finding solace in the wail of a blues harp

and the friendships he made along the way

 

 

His legacy is etched deep in my soul

and the souls

of those who knew him and loved him.

 

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