Once and still, the verb “to impress”
meant something like to force into service–
to be drafted by a larger body,
to seize or take hold–
and today still he impresses me
with his wit, his grace, his iron arm–
I am impressed to death.

And the other one, he impressed me, too
With his snarky tongue, his bitter
Retort about his inner inadequacy,
His sheer willingness to slap me down,
And laugh about it after.

And then along came another
whose impression felt sublime
As if God himself had intervened
Leaving me not alone under weight
of marble slabs of “forgive me”s but
imbued with light and love and “I’ll
talk to you tomorrow. Sleep good’s–
Because he saved the well for me,
And I drink from it whenever I can.


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