Three Messengers

Written by: ahellas Alixopulos

Old and ugly and well married is the visage
that I carry, and yet, there is another world
that keeps opening up its magic door.
It sends me notes and emissaries
that I could be, 
I should be much more than what I am.

The first message, that I was aware of
came to me in the high desert where 
I sat Walden-like by a pool trying to 
get back to the source, I'm told, is
within us all.

Suddenly I saw a flurry
a mile across the valley floor,
a point took flight and became
a mystic preying mantis
that picked my shoulder as a perch.

Mid day church bells rang 
at that moment and I watched
the sound reverberate
shaking bushes and trees
down the valley, scattering
birds and small animals.

Yet the mantis on my shoulder
calmly sat, cocked its head,
and in its eyes there was a question.

I replied to the mantis' query that
"I was old and ugly and well married and
I am simply not quite ready,
but keep the offer open and 
I will be ready soon."

After a month of worrying that
perhaps I had gone too far,
in refusing to go through an open door,
I summoned it again.
Right there in my backyard I heard
a flurry and found a grasshopper perched
where you had perched before.
The question in its eyes left no doubt
it again was you.

I replied that I just wanted to make sure 
that the offer you had proffered still
was mine to take.
You flew away as I explained that
"I was old and ugly and well married and
simply still not quite ready but keep the offer open,
and I'll be ready soon."

Years went by and I forgot the magic,
indeed, avoided magic.
I went to a marriage yesterday,
I sat alone, away from the others,
on a bridge, by a pond,
amongst tall pines and redwoods.
I thought again of the mystic mantis.

Suddenly you were there.
You came out of a crowd of happy guests
and crossed into my solitary space.
You touched my shoulder and my hand
and kept it there for the fastest hour.
We talked about nature and 
books we had both read,
the giant puppets you made,
and about things 
I'd never tell a stranger.
I looked into your eyes
and realized
that we had met at least
twice before and saw the familiar offer.
In my mind I pleaded for more time because
I am old and ugly and well married,
but please, please keep the offer open
because I'll be ready soon.
Suddenly you were gone.