Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Now You’re Home
Now you’re home, but the changes
have you scared: the trees sprouted
in the sitting room, the hunters’ horns
and rolling fields of winter grain,
the still pond frozen at the edge,
axes ringing down the hall.
I should apologize, I know.
I see you waiting for some word,
a reason, perhaps, the freezer is warm
and full of books, the oven a home
for muddy shoes. Don’t worry.
I can explain it all.
You were away so long: an hour,
maybe more. I remember what you said:
I am leaving now. You even wore a coat.
And then the door, irrevocable,
frightful barrier beyond my command,
your footsteps on the walk, leading away,
to the emptiest silence I have ever known.
See how old I’ve grown. And yet you are
the same, only better — a rare breeze
bearing woodsmoke and far-damp earth,
unaccountable violets, orange blossoms,
a veil of longing I can’t describe.
I feel like the last man on earth,
revived from his curse to stay alive.
From Songs and Letters, originally published November 15, 2005. Also appeared in Barnwood Magazine (2007).
Twenty more words added to the Burns Glossary, as we venture into the S’s.
In the Forum: the rise and fall of civilizations, the whisper of cedars, unidentifiable sonic waves, and a napping uncle.