Monday, February 8, 2016

 Finding our way home
Early on we learn how, it’s an easy task at that
A few streets we know by name, a corner
A crossing, a block or two and we’re home
From school, or the park, or friend’s house
It’s easy enough to navigate, to get there
But as we get older it becomes a matter of
Timing and routes, the long way, the short
Highways and back roads, sometimes so late
There are just stop lights and street lights to
Organize our return, sober or tipsy we pull
Into the familiar driveway and we’re home
The place has a feel that draws us to it and
Gives our brief journey some meaning, even
When we have to board a plane to make it
Cross time zones and continents, oceans and
Those barriers that so often build up inside us
And when we land we gather our baggage, both
Literal and figurative, no one’s there to greet us
We rent a car and begin once more, an easy task
A few streets we still know by name, a corner
A crossing, a block or two and then we’re home.

             Hospital, Then Home
After the general visiting hours are over and
The extra time they allow a spouse to linger,
There’s a time when the day is finally over and
He must drive home alone once more; for some
Reason the roads seem almost empty and he is
The only car out going home to a dark house,
Even the lights and TV blasting don’t begin to
Fill the emptiness here, the quiet of furniture,
Silence enough to stumble on, silence peopled by
The roles they play – her chair, his chair, the TV,
The radio, their books; what can he say to them?
How can he explain his presence and her absence?

These aren’t working boats bellying up
to some rough waterfront dock, these
are ladies and gentlemen craft, gleaming
clean, occasionally bouncing on their lines
waiting for the weekend, the brief holiday
cruise, sports fishing, sunning, being seen, 
those long afternoons out just far enough
but midweek, like this, only a few venture
out, the rest rest, hooked up to electricity
and water, become more house than boat;
there’s a tamed quiet here, the sea and all
that it might have represented in the past –
perilous voyages, heavy hauling, and the like
have been domesticated, part status, part leisure
this is the quiet harbor they prayed for in
the past, the port in the storm, the sanctuary
ancestors craved, now it rents at three dollars
a foot, up to sixty-five feet, three-fifty after that,
a day, electricity is extra; everything is arranged
to fit this measure of time and places available,
this is their desired haven, the quieted storm.
J.K. Durick

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