Last night I stayed up late watching the movie, "Mrs. Soffle" with Diane Keaton and Mel Gibson. It is based on a true story in 1901, a warden's wife who helps a convicted killer, Ed Biddle, (and his brother, Jack Biddle) escape death row. Mrs. Soffle and Ed are in love, and she goes with the two brothers. I found the story echoing memories of my past. In fact, twenty years ago this week I also met a charismatic, convicted thief (bank robber) and visited him in prison. For four days we talked, shared...and yes, he was in many ways the love of my life. But like "Mrs. Stoffle" our tale also had a sad ending, for we were never together in the free world. And over the years, we lost touch. I have no regrets though, and will always hold him dear in my heart.
The pouring rain outside prevents me from doing a few errands in town, so I suppose it's a good time for silent reflection.
Here's a poem I wrote about that past time of my life:
He rode into my safe, settled life
On the swift, silver wings of time,
Charging through dim, dark destiny;
He spoke softly in a husky whisper,
And seduced me with silken mysteries.
He lifted me high into a dangerous realm,
And convinced me I could know his heart,
Understand his wild, wicked world.
I was never a victim of his ways,
I was only mesmerized by his words;
So I boarded the plane, took a flight,
Across the vast distance between us
Unbelievably fascinated by him,
Dying to meet this daring man,
A highwayman who had walked brazenly
Into many banks, robbed in disguise,
But never harmed a single person.
He met me there, waylaid travelers,
Both of us oblivious to his confinement;
We touched, we talked, we soared above
Those iron bars and walls of stone,
Having no serets, no barriers between us.
I left, walked away from the highwayman
Richer, wiser -- holding his trust, his secrets
Deep within my deepest promise of silence.
But somewhere in time, I know not where,
He still rides the lonely roads, perhaps
Raiding and robbing, just being himself:
A highwayman living out his destiny,
Always knowing his secrets are safe with me.