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The Bird Did Not Return to Me

The Bird Did Not Return to Me

In a dream I was a great oak tree.
I was by the earth
with stemmed roots deep.

In isolation, I have let my hair grow.
I am among the life-giving in this summer:
the wheat and bearded barley
also flow in their gold.

The scars about me do not ache.
My skin, severed of feeling, reaches outward.

Before the second wave, I knew I was dying.
Storms had darkened the skies and still
in my mind, I could hear the gulls
calling from off the coast
for release.

With a body so great, how could I not
open my mouth to receive it?
Grief drenched over me and from within
I drank.

A vessel, I am carved, having learned new life;
carrier of suffering, knowledge of years.
To journey is to be set adrift
between blues – highs and low
No more as stoic but as hull.

Between bow and stern
a caged heart calls me
deep and deeper
into this great womb’s lull.

I am lonely against the clouds:
land or sea the same storms come.
To belong to nothing
is to rise and then to fall
with the wind as my skin, living
through both dusk and dawn.
I will ride this sea without compass.

The bird is ever a bridge.
First as companion within branches
then as my guide.
With hollowed bones
this beautiful blue feathered
free to rise with the sun’s arch.

I will follow her to land
to return, to return again.
For what is motion — this purpose for me,
except a promise.

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