STILL: THE PROMISE

Not finding the road, we are pulled down.
— Robert Bly, “The Fire of Despair Has Been Our Savior”

Nothing to do now
but wait. It’s raining so
hard — I have been pulled
over for hours. Windows
fogged; the car is flooded. Rolling
down the window
I look out on November
and sigh. I only want
to go home.

Still, it will always
do this —the sun setting
farther away; daylight,
the consistency of rain
and the rotting leaves, is finally
sloughed off like
everything else. What is left
collapses in the garden.

Exhaling into the dense
air, I wonder — what
replaces the sense of
fruit softening
on the ground? What is
the promise that all
endings hinge on? The remaining
days already seem cancelled
out and over.
What can possibly
emerge from the cave in Spring?

The moon behind
the rain puts
a hand on my shoulder — says, “This
is how it has always
been. Uncurl my
map and see
where it all leads.”

– Eugene, Oregon l984

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