Vanishing Tracks (I)

Vanishing Tracks (I)

On my journey home
the clouds obscure the one road up the mountain
like gods who long
since forgetting what they have made
come this way again
recognizing nothing

A hundred hazard lights blinking
of strangers slowing through that veil
could be seen from a distance
as some kind of worship

A half hour later
the clouds will be gone the road will not remember
they were ever here

On the mountain’s other side
I see them again
three heads on the sky’s coins
all looking away
and then again above the valley floor ahead of me
a tail of a giant sea creature twelve miles long
diving into the horizon

I can bear the gods forgetting all they have made
until they no longer exist
even in memory
and have made nothing
how much heavier though is your forgetting
because I know you
did what the gods could not

Still I will follow these vanishing tracks

*

Note: The three title poems from my 2011 book Vanishing Tracks, and another poem entitled “Sestina, with Christmas Lights,” were written in honor of my mother, who at the time of their composition had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s but was still living with my father. These poems, of course, are about memory, family, the sacred nature of motherhood, loss, and loss suffered across a family in a manner that is keenly unique but which impacts the rest of your life’s views on everything, from identity to suffering to love.

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