Thursday, 9 May 2013

Okanagan goodbye

Leaving the Okanagan in spring

I peopled your walks in my middle years
but  leave to make an end.
I won’t be afoot in your hills in a year’s turning
in a tear’s yearning,
though Ponderosa was a word warm on my lips as mother’s milk.
I’ll not  mis-hear again the speech of mountains,
Balsam root flowers that message the haste of spring and
the teaching of rabbit brush lecturing the hurry of fall.
I cannot forget what I never grasped.

I’m seeing absences –
The unanswered rings where fish ducks dove,
and ghosts of the kids who filled my life.

If rabbit brush and balsam root should know my name
they would call me back
to the Okanagan.

I forget with casual ease more beauty than wealth can buy.
It’s the privilege of an old man to cherish
and let slip, to forget and slip away.

I’ve a message for the spring screes, butter-cupped and
pierced with shooting star:
Remember me, a drunk who forgets his limit!

A man should make a poem to die.

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