No one has used this road since
The end of World War II when
Rain came down for eight days
Drowning the wood, abandoning
Even the golden voices of the animals
That once lived here.
It wasn’t that it was dark,
Thoughts could easily become more dense
Than the crippled light that insisted
On being there despite having been foreclosed
And locked with thorns that seemed
Sharper than memory when unfolded.
But we came here anyway, if only
To be troubled by the fact that the road
Refused to go away or stop leading
To anywhere; a cut where, looking ahead
One could see the trees break and an open
Meadow lean ahead all the way to the lake
Shore. In the summer there were fireflies
That received the place like a memory.
Summer is gone, the war is gone
And we, for want of learning something special,
Something to place at the service of trying
To understand all the histories all over again,
Cause us to falter a bit and look
Cautiously about us to see if we can
Explain anything about this loss or the place
Itself that might leave us feeling
Intrusive about our need to be here.
The placid shadows, the mothers calling
Their sons home to dinner across the fields.