Poem of the Month: Cross Currents

The moon’s choreography
is less reliable now
unlike the obedient tides
my body chooses its own tempo
sways out of rhythm
then drifts in step again
for a measure or two

It surprises my attention
I had forgotten this last bend
in the yawing currents
did not expect as much drama
as at the beginning,
when childhood washed away
like an unguarded doll
at the water’s edge
or in the middle
when all of me swelled
with the briny broth
of a stranger’s life
now, again, I search the mirror
hunt for how my face reveals
the changing course within

People say I do not look my age
as if I’d won a prize
they say I am too young
to parenthesize the moon
I can not always say I do not like
what people say
do not, some days, want
to conjure back the blood
rejoin the familiar round.
do not, like a lone sailor
in a cloud-thick night
long to drop anchor
forget the creaking tiller
the unknown destination
the shape of undreamt shores


IMG_1660“Cross Currents” was published in the anthology Claiming The Spirit Within, Beacon Press: Boston, 1996.


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