Issue 7 – Stevens


Jeanine Stevens

Returning

I admire storks that have birthplace
memories. Protected in the East,
storks are considered pilgrims
riding the corridor to Mecca.
They remember, nest on mosques,
minarets and telephone poles
returning again and again in season’s cycles.
A pair even lodged on the remaining
pillar of Artemis’ temple.
In a new subdivision, a poet tells
of a thumping sound on her front steps,
opens the door and finds a wild horse
pawing the threshold.
Was he born here, did he roam here?
At twelve, my mother sang on the radio:
“When shadows fall and night birds
are ever blending, I am ever wending home.”
A subtle programming? Ours seems
more confusing, neighborhoods torn down,
dwellings remodeled by strangers.
Are these Goya’s lost landscapes?
I long for my childhood home,
not just house, but neighborhood, school,
church, bookstore, thrift shop.
Like the salmon, I thrash upstream,
impossible to climb those slippery ladders.
Yet, what happiness to see enclaves
of woodlands in small clumps near
city center and perhaps a brief glimpse,
even a flit of red cardinal in highest branches.