Poem by Nate Pruitt.
When the afternoon light
touches the broad orange petals
of the tiger lilies, mute tongues
curled, I pray hard
for such joyous sights to continue.
But I pray wrong, selfishly.
I don’t know where the words
I struggle to recall
even the names of my old friends.
When I remember, I try
to search them out but I don’t
have any illusions about their lives.
It rained last night & all day today
so the lake I can’t quite see
over the tree line is pure frothy white.
There is mist everywhere
& I am alone in it.
The white light
burns my eyes, sears a holy purpose
in my human frame.
I’m setting out
on a new journey, ever faithful.
Early on, I walked away
from everything, from things I loved.
But now, when I come to the ocean,
as I know I will, foaming
like some impossible hell,
I won’t despair or surrender.
I’ll find a tree, growing from a crag
on the shore & I’ll cut it down
with the force of my loneliness.
There is the shape of a boat
hidden beneath the bark,
I know it.
So I’ll release it,
using my most tender memories
as tools. I’ll continue.
will block my way.