Walking beyond the farmer's home
up a steep incline
into a dark wood where mushrooms sprung
I picked some
A criminal act, an error, a sin
I dropped them;
watched them fall to the ground and tumble down.


Then I reached where I was going
A bittersweet building
or was it a ship?
In the darkness, no thing was sharp.


Here, I knew where I had to be
which floor..
But so many entries
so many doors..
I chose the wrong one.


Inside, a ship surpassing all
A floating castle of souls
so cleverly disguised, for sure
I could go with that, for now


but the people here, I knew them all
friends, relatives, the rest
all were from the past,
involved in spirited conversation
or alone.


A door was open, a wedding beyond
the bride in her flawless dress
whispering to a girlfriend
the veil still hung about her face
I know who you are, I thought
I know your name.


Still, searching for the stranger I was here to meet
I walked through thin corridors
up steep steps
It wasn't obvious how to get there
but with persistence, I did.


And there she was, behind her desk
Just fill in a few forms
and you can go through for the interview
In a lost space, people huddled
But I didn't feel graceless
having arrived so late
Simply numb.


After the form filling I waited there
her voice without expression
for the interview I should pay..
Pay for the interview?
I asked a simple question
and she left to find an answer
which is when I quietly slipped away.


Down the steep stairs
(I lost my shoes)
along the narrow corridors
back to the wedding area
People were loud now
laughing, animated, so huge they were!
I glanced about
and left.


Easily I found the gate to the wood
the rain remaining; night ivory black
my feet were soaking
I found the spot where I'd dropped the mushrooms
and sat
facing away from the ship


Below, in the distance, a shape apparent
the farmer's off-white cottage
the lights warm,
the drone of machinery
winding down.


And I sat
still as the still wind
my whole being soaked as the earth about it.
And smiled.


Miakoda 2004



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