Island Prayer


When you return to the past
While in the present
You access the memories of stories
And the changes of time
You witness oxygen rust and cause trees to broaden
You feel the sea pull through you like an endless sob

How the smells were stronger, almost romantic
Before your nose began to age
Some roads paved and level, others rutted and grassed
The song of the backshore remains the same
Through the trees it calls you, the rumble of a cycle

Getting out of bed, walking wet down the concave path
The spongy moss springs back after each step
The bounce in your step not your own
The rumble becomes wave, again and again
Blow down root maps show you the underside of life
The forest ebbs and closes, the path changes near the end
The ax has not made the last straight or clear or dry

The rock welcomes you and you remember what a skill you need
To bound from ledge to boulder, kelp to slimy stone
Exposed by waning tide, barnacles and periwinkles cluster
Like a gem