Places of Which I Don’t Speak Much

8

February 10, 2020-

I kept myself home today, for good measure.

Yesterday was touch and go,

and I made it to the two obligatory gatherings,

being careful not to get too close to anyone,

lest what I felt was coming on,

was transferable.

I don’t speak of illness, much.

This is because it rarely comes calling.

Oregano, and a day of rest,

have knocked it out of me.

Illness is a state of being,

of which I rarely need speak.

Mount Chocorua was the first real peak,

I ever climbed.

I was grateful to my father,

for taking me there,

a uniquely satisfying climb,

that was distorted by a few moments

of diffuse anger,

back at the tent site.

When I had to deal with the same,

as a father, years later,

I knew what to do,

and let the boy work out his feelings.

Long Binh,

the only place where I ever felt

my life was in danger,

was also where I had to stand up

for myself.

So I did, and no harm came.

I may very well return to Viet Nam,

in a couple of years,

but I will leave Long Binh alone.

Hannibal saw me when I was

in a very raw state.

I was not allowed to write freely.

I was refused use of a computer.

Hannibal did not seem kind,

but someday, I will give

Hannibal a second look.

There are many places,

of which I don’t speak much.

 

Why I’ll Go Back Again

12

November 6, 2017, Prescott-

I’ll go back to Viet Nam, about five years from now.

Nothing I  remember is likely to be there.

Yet, I like to see how a nation grows.

I’ll go back to central Maine, in a year, or three.

The people to whom I caused some pain,

are mostly gone away.

Yet, it will be good to make some sort of amends.

I’ll go back to Israel, within the next ten years.

The places I visited, thirty-five years ago,

will be there for centuries to come,

yet, I need to approach them,

with greater reverence.

I’ll go back to Massachusetts,

at least once a year,

until the time comes for

my first angel to take flight.

Yet, I suspect that will be

some years in the future.

I’ll go back to Korea,

sometime in the near future.

Yet, I will be a prodigal son,

both atoning for breaches of manners

and honouring the roots that

my own seed might put down.

I’ll return to the American Southwest,

each time I need to pick myself up.

As  here, the desert and mountains

inform as to the way to renewal.

(Note to the nervous ones:  I’m not moving anywhere, any time soon.)