Various and Sundry Poetry

don't leave now

This is what must be said, the hour
tinny and hollow as a piggy bank
emptied of its long-held savings.
When bones begin their tired buckle,
resolve caving, courage a matchstick house
too close to the stove. When it becomes so tempting
to let the weather tell the story,
to register defeat from fog,
to translate the absence of a temperate spring as instruction
to bury your head, mole-like, into a tunnel of inertia.
When it feels as if the expense outweighs
the purchase, when weight outlifts relief, when mess
outsizes stillness. When peace seems elusive as a secret,
and happiness a mothball in the basement closet.

Don’t leave now.
This is what must be said
when there is so much trouble and acrimony everywhere –
houses split open from a lightning storm,
drivers abandoning the scene of the injured,
men facing off in a desert,
cancer encroaching on innocent organs,
the order of things dismantling in microseconds.
Our grip on the earth is fraught
with error and bad luck, wrong turns and filmy judgment,
and the million ways loss threatens to ruin us.

It is impossible to stand at the feet of a mountain, untrembling.
But departure will do no good. The path,
catastrophic, claustrophobic as it is,
nevertheless begs us forward.
Look how it curls, a bent and beckoning finger, into the deeper woods.
Look how its ragged, ruthless stones resemble guideposts.
Don’t leave now.
Fold your shoulders under the brambles. The grazing will
make a mark and that will tell you how close
your own body is willing to come. This is no small thing.
This is the beginning
of everything.
You can find comfort in the most improbable places.
Don’t leave now.
Consider the possibility that you are already home.
Make a web of yourself.
It is here that the feast will fall.