Empty Gazes

This is for those of you who've loved,
And are living it inside your mind.
This is also for those of you who've not;
And have left your memories behind.

The old man sitting next to you,
Staring blankly out the bus,
Is not simply being rude;
But remembering the way it was.

He thinks of his childhood back home.
He thinks of how much he loved to play.
But, like every childhood dream,
His youth left him and flew away.

Even though the old man's stop went by,
He stares out, not looking up;
Remembering that special woman,
The one that weaned him from a pup.

But still, he stares out into space,
Although he truly wants to cry.
He puts his hand over his quivering lip,
And hides the sadness in his eyes.

And while I sweep the lifeless leaves,
As even more fall from above.
I stare into the open sky,
Thinking about my very first love.

I wonder where she is right now.
I wonder if she misses me.
But the wind hits me and reminds me that
This is a practice in futility.

But this is the way all people are.
Staring nowhere while we reminisce.
Always thinking of all those regrets,
And all those chances that we'd missed.

So, why do we do this to ourselves?
Looking longingly into mid-air.
Do we really believe that our empty gazes
Will capture a memory there?

But it makes a memory feel real again!

--October 1995