“one or two things they aren’t going to tell you” — a poem

how am I to keep on walking, mother?

(you ask this seaside in the late light to no one in particular)

the shore stretches endlessly along and you’re stopped

by the decade when all went quiet

little waves just below flow forth, pull back

(my civilization has lost its markers, mother)

~

here is gilded gold along the cliffs

lace in the foam, like antique tears

(what’s left is some of her handwriting, like a solace)

how was I to plant a garden, mother?

(you ask this seaside in the late light to no one in particular)

mine was an age without barometers

the weather of the winds

was the compass we steered by

~

her losses occur to you later

once you’ve faced your own

like notes of some refrain, the train

of time speeds forth, the passengers

(but mother how am I to?)

“Keep walking,” she says.

And her voice is the wind, coming over the clifftops

and her voice is the sun as it sets, far horizon

(but mother how am I to?)

where was I to plant my garden, mother?

~

one or two things they aren’t going to tell you

is what they did

when they went through losses

those moments you weren’t noticing

the quiet cocoon they’d spun

of silken tears they shed alone

that’s how we cry, as a people

“Keep walking,” she says.

And her voice is the wind, coming over the clifftops

and her voice is the sun as it sets, far horizon

~

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