Now Youíre Home

Now youíre home, but the changes
have you scared: the trees sprouted
in the sitting room, the huntersí horns
and rolling fields of winter grain,
the still pond frozen at the edge,
axes ringing down the hall.

I should apologize, I know.
I see you waiting for some word,
a reason, perhaps, the freezer is warm
and full of books, the oven a home
for muddy shoes. Donít worry.
I can explain it all.

You were away so long: an hour,
maybe more. I remember what you said:
I am leaving now. You even wore a coat.
And then the door, irrevocable,
frightful barrier beyond my command,
your footsteps on the walk, leading away,
to the emptiest silence I have ever known.

See how old Iíve grown. And yet you are
the same, only better ó a rare breeze
bearing woodsmoke and far-damp earth,
unaccountable violets, orange blossoms,
a veil of longing I canít describe.

I feel like the last man on earth,
revived from his curse to stay alive.

November 15, 2005

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