DETOUR

He always wanted to take
the scenic route home, it
didn’t matter if it took longer,
he probably preferred that
and he rarely commented on the scenery.
It was more that he didn’t want
to get where they were going
and the scenic route was guaranteed
to take longer and with luck
they’d get lost once or twice along the way.
He’d be fine when he got there,
it was about the arriving, and the leaving
both of which were abrupt, and abruption
carried with it the fear he would
never again find the peace of place.

HANGING

She says she feels like she is getting to the end of her rope. He tells her to hold on more tightly, that he will search for additional rope and when he finds it, tie the new rope to the old. She says he could just go out and buy a new rope, much longer that the one to which she is clinging. He says she would have to pay for it and to get the money, she would have to let go of the rope to which she clings. She lets go of the rope and walks away, leaving it in a jumble at his feet.

AND WHAT IS LEFT BEHIND

She calls them
around her bedside
but they stand back
fearful of the withered ghost
hovering on the sheets, until
one, eldest, touches her extended
hand with a finger
as if passed through a flame.
I will be leaving soon
she tells them, if not
tomorrow then a day later
and I will take the hills
for they are mine, where
I ran as a child, tasted first love
and the stream where I swam
as a girl and from which I drank
when summer was entrenched holding
autumn at bay, that too will go with me
so when I am gone, you will
move the sheep and goats
to new pastures.