Susquehanna

This place is part of my history but what speaks to me now are cracks in the ice, shifts in the riverbank, and tired stark beauty of the trees.

I don’t hear ghosts as much anymore, which is a relief. A lot of painful wounds have grafted closed, leaving rough ridges to step lightly over.

I see my reflection in the stately swollen winter river and I’m not sure what it means, probably just that I’m still looking down too often.

It’s just that I tend to trip over my own feet so much, looking up is a real act of bravery for me. I’m not particularly brave, just curious and eager and ready for the season to change.

We will winter

There are whole days now where you don’t know anything about me.
Seasons pass and I pretend we’re walking together, holding hands beneath the cherry blossoms.
I imagine others are hiding in bomb shelters while we stick out tongues out to catch sun rays.
I laugh to myself inside my pea coat and whisper, “May I have this dance?” but your feet have become rooted.
Terrors strike those behind me and I can hear discontent but I see a path to the sea.
I think it all leads back to the sea, whether it’s starry or foggy or green or aflame, and we better be ready for the big plunge.
I will sail with you and we will sing quietly as the wind takes us beyond ourselves into sweet oblivion.

Threads (Just about six)

After dreaming of Dresden, I couldn’t kick pebbles on the lane anymore.
Does anyone else miss quiet Sundays?
I like the color of the outside of the Louvre.

There are some grandmother spices from my age six olfactory file that I cannot seem to duplicate in my own kitchen. I came close today while driving with tea and almonds on a warming November Sunday as crackly dry leaves rushed past my window.

Threads seem to fall wherever I linger.

long way home

He drove a bit slowly on the quiet road, going out of his way a bit to see if the tree was now the lone hold out. Not in a rush to get home, he was anxious to see if the tree was still awash in golden color. He found himself taking the time to notice how the treeline seemed to meet the sky on the ridge overlooking the road. Driving farther away from town, he was thankful now for the road repairs that had annoyed him and sent him this way the other day. He couldn’t forget the vision of the few splashes of color in the dismal November landscape, how that tree in particular seemed ablaze when most others around it were still, brown, lifeless. He wasn’t the sort that would read much into symbols and such, but it was becoming important to him to see that tree once more before it joined its brethren, dropping its leaves and standing quiet for the winter. He pressed his foot gently, speeding up just enough to keep pace with his breaths. He wondered briefly how he would feel if he came upon the tree and found it bare, naked. For some reason, he remembered seeing his father just before they closed the casket. He didn’t look asleep, as they said. He looked lifeless in every sense. Wearing clothes he would never have worn. Lying still and grey under the stupid makeup. His hands crossed in some inane pose that was supposed to look peaceful. He hoped that tree still had its leaves. He slowed down before the final curve, very thankful this road was so deserted. Like some sort of unveiling, he almost felt before he saw the golden boughs reaching out of the copse of sleeping trees. Tears streaming down his face, he drove home.

1 Take. Let go.

Off the record, off the charts, off the books. Nothing is wrong with my memory. It tells me what I saw, how it was. You like a mirage through the rain. “I’m in a mood for you,” you sang, “for running away.” Sweeter words were never swallowed. I almost faded waiting to hear you again. But even your words shine through a dim day. The taste of you and the reminder of your touch remain. Never fading. Never growing old. Like in that perfect instant snapshot, clinging to a love that would always be a hallowed figure, dancing in the rain.