The Long Way Home

I took the long way round
through necessity
and invention
sacrificing things
along the way -
sacrum facere I did
in the luke-warm day

and people came and went
all my life they did
they stayed on the road
a little time
and I trudged on alone -

	one day I will be
	mist on the mountain
	and a russet leaf
	as it falls
	a blade of grass with
	beaded dew of the morning
	and the flash of a
	singing bird
	in the dappled sunlight

a heavy heart I carried
and a wearied soul -
all the sights and sounds
sickened, and knowledge
meant horror for all the ways
we've gone astray - our
clever race devises
new tortures every day

I stand here now
after sixteen years of walking -
it was the long way home
and bones rotting
in the ground - names
in stone mouthing
silent words

It was the long way home
but there was
no other way to come
and here I am -
my quiet sitting in the sun
listening to the river's
rushing water
and the shusshing of the trees:
with sore feet, damaged feet -
awkward legs -
skewed bones and bad
balance -
bodyframe of pain -
talking head -

I worked my walk back
worked it every day,
every hour, every minute
with grief my strong
companion -
to now, this day, this ease
this place, hard won

and still she is gone
yet she is gone
as she was on the day
when it all began -
she would be glad I think
to see me here
in this quiet place
she would take me in her
arms and say -
welcome home -
never mind what's done
what's past
what has been -
you are here now
and that's
all that matters,
my daughter,
have your day in the sun
be at peace

It was a terrible trial
a terrible coil
of circled steel
and there was no reason
for it other than
to do
so I walked it, unknowing,
and sick, trudging
in places I wish
I had not seen
this long slow circle
to coming home
to place
to all that has worth
to my quiet, older, face
and my staunch heart
my personal season

of mists
and mellow fruitfulness
this tiny cottage
basks in grandeur and beauty
a balm to all my ills
to heal, in time,
all suffering where peace
comes dropping slow
where I can move slow
and stop
and stand
naught do
but sit and dream in the sun
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