Homing Song: Two Stanzas

byDenise Sweet
Because any place
you affix as home is an astonishment
Destiny or destination-- you are home
and you know instinctly how to doubt it
a talent for searching, you begin
with maps and roots and tributaries
in a backyard or in a city park
unearthing cedar systems or star charts
or at your father's cabin
mapping the riverlogic of the Nemakagan
while otters skim and pack the trail
for you, while sand coyotes pull in
midnight air, and sing a capella
all the lonely way back
to you

And you sing back, throwing out
round songs to anonymous canyons
and the fine criminal lives
you admire and while
Invoking nothing more than the
comfort of the faraway familiar,
echoes like whispers
the sound of a descending star
your own long distance
it's all the same
Once you were reminded
of the throatsingers in Canada
as a child cried behind you
Each enhanced private legends
you used to decipher alone,
tremeloes come back
signifying you, signifying them
at the same time, a song
means all of us.

© 1997 Denise Sweet
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