All She Wanted Was to Move to the City
If you returned, Mother, from the east
for part of a morning or the west
for the evening, surprised us
with your everyday clothes,
it wouldn't be to startle anyone,
all of us older, nor to be young
once again, to live in others'
lives, their sudden joys and jealousies,
the swift change of mind, the little left
and it wouldn't be
to speak of others or yourself
or the day's long commands of work
evening peaceful, the lamp lighting
the corner table and single chair
in the room you called your own,
a book open face down,
two apple cores brown
on a small white plate
In a hamlet of belonging
everything belongs somewhere
although shadows struggle to escape.
A step or two ahead your shadow
feels the village coming, holds
its breath as you find time's
endless curve again to the other side.
Away from where we are
© Leonard Neufeldt. Queen's Quarterly, Vol. 122 (2015).