(For N.J. in Menemsha)
Crafty Odysseus knew that time is this soft wind
from the east, falling and falling across my pewtered
lawn, dropping sweet moisture where dim rainbow doves emerge:
endless and sudden. He stopped it with a spear
to bring his splintered family back --- a clever trick,
but its sequel is troubled: the aging hero,
heavy with honors and the pull of old journeys,
steps off an Ithacan cliff.
Sorcery subtle as weather or unfolding smoke,
risky as upland boars, the traveling pitchman found.
Corrupt displacement was the rule, each healthy urge turned monstrous,
upside down. And who am I to judge that pilgrim’s lies, swung
against lies to clear his own path home?
So you in your time and me in mine, this quiet space
a charm against unquiet days, I track dove murmurs in the
roosting oaks, and put my boots
on the rail; and simplify.
Version first published in Adirondack Review, Spring 2014