Cheticamp, August 1992
And from all this, I am the only one who leaves
from my tent with its sky-blue flap
my cup of cold water, stacked tin plates
my great love, poor choices, well-intentioned plans
from this, I alone am leaving
from the solitary roadside church
white, painted fresh(I swoon in that raw scent)
the doors unopened, the hymnals accounted-for.
The dark pews glisten.
From the beach and the steel-backed sea that does not disturb it.
The pink-skinned stones heaped like fruits in a market.
The screened-in porches
behind them solid pairs of freckled women
who cherish everything they ever had
colanders, locks of hair, boys with soft shoulders, old magazines
as they sit stitching rugs with faces of the famous and the dead.
For a long time, I have known there is nothing new.
Pale cords of wood
stoked in iron stoves
Thoughtful men, shirts open, stroke
the soft flannel nap.
They look on. They call out Attendez! Attendez!
Every place is like this one
cut into the stunned heart in the shapes of things, in the smells of things.
See the geese always returning
arrows, ellipses, question marks
a kinked black throat, one round cry
Does it not
hang in the air?