Unknown (3/3/98)

by Julie Bihn

An unknown haven
Between the buildings, the shops, the habitations.
With the wind pulling my hair back from my face,
The birds singing along with the music
(So much better than I ever could).

The unknown waters
Holding unknown life
Ten feet away from the trodden path
And completely unnoticed.
Just as the fish and trees
Knew not that I existed
And may not know now.
The children see us.
Do they see our centerpiece?
The wind and sun are inescapable.
I am comfortable. I am happy.
And the water is unclean.

The unknown lampposts
So quaint
Guarding an unknown building
An unknown flower bed
An unknown yet familiar scent
Reminiscent of the ocean.
I dislike the ocean.
I dislike the grand waters.
But we are far from those.
The trees, the shade, they call me in from the heat, the tile.
The water never beckons.
The birds still sing.
Life itself is inescapable.
I blow a bug from off the sheet of paper
And stare at my shoelaces and my shadow for a moment.

The unknown sculptures
On either side of the unknown sidewalk
With the unfamiliar people walking down it.
The trees are beautiful
But the sun is cruel.
I wonder where the people come from.
What they do.
How they know each other.
Yet I don't care.
The poor grass
Is orange and blue
From spray-painted lines.
I wonder why there are lines.
Why people do what they do.
But not why God does what He does, though that is more mysterious.
More important.
I hate the sun.
I want to go home.
But the breeze comes, and soothes me again.
If I was just in the forest
In the non-forest
All would be well
And I would be content.
Still I am happy.

The unknown descent
Such safety. No place to fall, nothing to fall on me.
The blue sky above
And the trees poking out
Reminding me of God's nature.
Such perfect shade unknown
With nothing overhead but sky.
Nothing around but brick, concrete, man's creations.
So near to familiarity but so far from it.
The unseen a mere twenty feet from the oft seen.
Man's feeble markings on the walls?
Seeming to be covered up by more of man's marks.
The breeze reaches me.
I feel utter contentment
With the cool pavement, the sweet shade
The goodness.

The unknown shade.
Why would shade be yellow?
Yet I like it.
The trees are bland, the sky is still beautiful.
The sun touches my elbow.
Unknown people in greater numbers
With unknown bicycles and backpacks and sunglasses.
The unknown, inaccessible trees wave
Just like my hair
In the wind.
And I am as unknown to the world, the people, the places, the things
As they are to me.
And I am very happy.


Copyright Julie Bihn 1998

Please do not modify or duplicate without my permission.

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