Mother Poem

 

All summer
I drove,
in order
to understand
distance.
At last
in Aurora,
when each
afternoon
relented,
half-sighing,
half-cooling
into shades
of dusk,
of periwinkle
and magenta,
we would walk
to the end
of the street,
where the road
meets
the man-made
pond.
That was
the time you
could not walk
without holding
my arm,
each step
a precise
beginning.
We moved
like this,
step-by
-step,
one comma
planted
after another.
I am sorry
for my quiet
impatience,
for not
telling you
how much I
enjoyed
our short
trails
of punctuation.
Later, we stood
together,
at the end
of that perfect,
concrete
driveway.
Another
goodbye?
How
could we
know?
Part blessing,
part instruction,
you told me
to be happy,
for that is all
we can do
in times
like this.
Who am I
to not follow
simple
instructions?
And so,
turning
my car
west,
I began
to drive
again,
into that
strange
and
miraculous
open land
where the thin
bed sheet
of sky
meets the horizon.
In the distance,
a single
pin-point
of cloud,
or light,
or the eye
of a fever
needle,
never
deviated,
no matter
how long
I looked.
I drove,
empty
and accepting
the pleasure
of knowing
nothing,
trusting only
that
if
I continued
to drive,
the poem
would pull me through.