Reflections on re-entry to my birth country, five years after.
They swooshed camp chairs
Out of carry bags
And lifted Pinterest-perfect snacks
From Thirty-One bags
And glided on soft-soled shoes
To friends with nodding faces.
My lungs to breathe and
My knees to not crumple
Until I found a quiet place
To sob and sit and list
All the things I missed
And what was new. I’d never
Needed a camp chair.
(Stumps and grass
Had always worked fine.)
And what was Thirty-One?
Words dribbled over lines,
Lines puddled into memories.
Lewis said far, far better things lie ahead
Than any we leave behind
So I lettered his lines for my wall
But a life won’t be stuffed into words
And memories ooze
For years. The tears
Don’t stop but drip down
Down to the mother bowl
Of copper dark
To rest and glisten and breathe
And sometimes see
Chimney swifts circle and drop
Circle and chirp and drop to
Days drop into weeks
And years into a rain chain where
Loss empties gain, fills loss, drips gain and
Splashes into weathered green
8 thoughts on “Patina”
Do you ever consider writing another book? Essays on home or something? I love your writing. Your heart and style and experiences are so rich and vibrantly alive.
Thank you for your kind affirmation! I dream of writing a book, but I’m pretty sure it won’t be about home, because there are lots of other people much, much better suited to write. I recommend Wendell Berry’s novels for starters, and also Jen Pollock Michel’s “Keeping Place” that’s very insightful and thoughtful.
Beautiful. Thank you
I can relate to your re-entry thoughts. Maybe you should make a book on re-entry. We need one!
Hmmmm, you’re right that we need one, but I’m pretty sure it’s not mine to write! Thanks for your vote of confidence anyhow!
Some of us can never feel that our hearts are quite whole, because pieces of them live in various parts of the globe. But we also know that our lives are richer and sweeter because of our nomadic experiences, and in heaven we can settle FOREVER.
Thank-you for this great reminder to be kind and thoughtful of friends in transition, and to sit on stumps and eat their favorite familiar foods with them. 🙂 Your words made me both want to laugh and cry- I hope you are okay with that response. *Hugs*
That seems a very appropriate response, Linda! Yes, heaven is our forever home, thank God, but I intend to do a LOT of exploring there too. 😉
“What was Thirty-One?”
Somehow that line struck deep. For me, 25 years ago, it was Daisy Kingdom.
I came “home” and I didn’t know the vocabulary. Sometimes I still don’t.
And this post made me feel it all again.