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Departures

May 15, 2012

we must leave home

without leaving home.

the grown man tiptoes out

shuts the gate to a house

where a woman turns fitfully

and a baby freezes in mid-cry

gathers the reins of his horse and rides

across rapids and swollen hills

the forest  breached,

that horse, magnificent beast

is butchered and buried.

 

we must leave home without leaving home.

this young woman, bent

as warm blood stains her folded skin

reaches through the window and looks for him

deserts him , finds him in the face of what’s idolatrous

on her wedding night

tugging at a pair of trousers.

 

we must leave home without leaving

skimming what’s familiar

numb to routines,

we must leave home

become prodigal of mind and money

give away our hearts in huge dollops

dripping with gravy for the homeless

we must leave home,

become homeless,    to arrive.

 

years ago,

so ancient as to be beyond forgetting

a man left a city with an orchard

and the mildewed stack of wood

next to a tool shed full of hammering

and a road that measured out what’s known.

did he ever return,

did a mother or a father or a wife

long ago recognize

did the friend of the stag hunts,

did the teacher see

this dust-robed beggar

with the empty bowl offering nothing

 

did they take the gift he came with?

 

 

-1/31/2004

 

 

( a painting I did in 2010, oil on canvas)

 

 

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 15, 2012 9:47 pm

    fine work! thank you!

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