Poem for Sunday, May 27

May 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

North Was Not the Way

The lead flyer suffered from anxiety,
nightmares. He kept dreaming
they were in a dream, flying north
when north was not the way.
He tried to dream them out of it
again. (This did not work.)

Every dawn, the ground
recovered from heartbreak,
the warm winds started.
But the flock was feeling uneasy.
This felt like starting back
from where they came. But there
was so much fear in turning back.
Which direction foretold promise,
silks, a fat enough herd?
North was not the way. And back
was also not the way.

Every afternoon, he turned them around,
but they kept formation, each face
closed like a beehive, industrious.
The current welling.
It was a mistake. The dream
of migration, unclear.

-Arlene Kim, from What Have You Done to Our Ears to Make Us Hear Echoes? (Milkweed Editions, 2011)

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