Patina

rain chains

Rain chains on amazon.com

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.

I watched
Them and
Ordered
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 
Home.

Days drop into weeks
And years into a rain chain where
Loss empties gain, fills loss, drips gain and
Splashes into weathered green
Mystery rimmed
Shimmering.

8 thoughts on “Patina

    • 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.

  1. 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*

  2. “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.

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