Vagabondage (after Kenneth Koch)

When did you start to follow
me?  I don’t remember
the tables turning—but then
my recollections were never
very reliable.

Even the tangible accumulations
of the collected years that now
emerge from their wrappings
of old news surprise me–
(the news itself does not surprise
me—yellowed headlines that fit
as well into today as yesterday)

How and when did the journey
become so heavy with the past,
so filled with lost voices
calling my name, faces I think
I see in passing, disappearing
into the crowded landscape
full of images I can’t place,
invisibly in plain sight?

I scatter my biography,
filling it with empty spaces,
holes for the wind to find
and carry back on a song through
the branches of winter trees.

I can still hear the melody–
it vibrates along synapses,
along veins and into the heart.
Isn’t that enough in the end?–
the rhythm of a dance
that has no direction,
but spirals everywhere all
at once with no destination
but now.

I was reading Kenneth Koch’s poem “To Old Age”. It made me think of my own journey.

For the earthweal challenge to write a journey-poem.

Jacob Wrestling with the Angel

Our memories are full of secrets–
we have no innocence to be rejected.
We long to be the spirit that stalks us–
the last man falling.