She is bodiced in the busywork
of attaining life. The winds of Spring and Winter
crisscross her flight. A miniature bird becomes a spirit
hovering between seasons, everything told
I sense she may be you, the runaway daughter
I misunderstood. You left when the milkweed pods ripened
and spidery stars drifted along the road
with your shadow.
Like them, your destination aimless
and I kept wondering how you passed —
through a highway tunnel dividing
one state’s corn from another’s wheat, silver boxes on either side
to call for help,
or through a long passage opening
into a garden where mission bells marked the hour of change,
the light stark as bones bleached by the ocean air
while a veiled woman hummed scripture, her hands piling apples
into a reed basket.
You were so tired that she wept
and sent your soul back as something lighter, more sanguine
than a restless teen.