She pins her hair back
twenty-three and resolute, baby on her hip
and says goodbye forever
Her eyes catch on a single point, somewhere
in the hazy distance and she sets to it
makes a life
gets **** done
There’s no time to consider,
to touch the centre of the windstorm that compels her
it only winds her tighter
and because there’s laundry to do, and she likes things
neat and tidy
she carves herself up into glistening pieces
and leaves them there—
in the hot Paraguayan sun
in the endless cold Prairie snow
when her children disappear with terrible secrets
She skillfully wraps each fluttering fragment
and gives it away, no longer her concern
God will take care of it
and I am left with none,
I’ve only ever had a part of her
the one that read the rules and promised
clean clothes, a roof, full stomach—
her threadbare heart
Maybe she’s tired, like I am now—
my own list in hand
To feel is the most demanding
I want to understand the forces
unfurling in a hurricane, but must
be content in my sheer ignorance.
I come to my same favorite place
one day to write, and the power
is gone. Then I come with
huge new ideas and want to
write like--well, like the wind--
and the wind has come up,
hurricane-like, and my penmanship
turns to scribble-pictures on paper.
I hide behind my truck and
behind a silver trash barrel,
but this hurricane wraps around
with a power no one can avoid.
The important things I have
reserved for saying, how will
they get said? At least, they're
not surfacing in this
day's storm-upset thinking.
Six Chinese kids lift
their heads above the
bluff where I look at angry
water. They wave to me.
I nod, but my hands grasp
the flapping paper tablet.
I hear their song-like tongue,
a chorus mixed with groaning gusts.
There is too much wind
coming from the west, from
the direction of China, so far away.
— The End —