Transient

Transient

If only the sky would lift her head, at least then I’d know
which way was north.  Direction has been everything to me,
but has no meaning here.  As it is I follow moss that grows
north and south, rootless threads circling the trees in paths
of soft, damp pillows that smell of an earthy yeast and a world
simple, over-risen, and too yielding to make mine.
Each night I gather grief and remorse, wake hot with fingers
clenched in an arthritic arc, the house silent save for the
rhythmic sighs of my boys.  My dreams of them plain: sun,
snow, winds a flush of salty air.  Their bodies bound to what
is known and known well. What I have withheld sits heavy
in my chest like a beached whale collapsing upon herself.
Returning home would be resolve, a coastline with only
two directions.  Following one would be intuitive, the sea
stretched out, the sky a giantess holding out a delicate hand.
Familiarity a braid of memories and wisdom, an ability.  A skill
as old as telling stories or weaving beach grass as strong as
the arc of ribs that break before the thudding heart.

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