Friday, October 6, 2017

horizon

I have a memory of waking up in the early morning hours
day still shrouded in darkness
heart beating wildly
in response to a frightening image 
from a childhood dream

light shining through my bedroom doorway
from the kitchen
where my mom stood behind an ironing board

preparing for the day 
in that quiet space 
after Dad had gone to work
before the children woke

steam rising
board creaking as the iron moved 
rhythmically back and forth

instantly calmed 
I drifted back to sleep

I explored abandoned houses on the land 
where my mom was born
huge expanse of sky and grass

horizons shaped for wind 
to gather speed 
gather dust or snow

horizons shaped to deceive
hiding river valleys with sand castles
disguising antelope frozen in place
creating a mirage of endless bison herds 
tipis puncturing the skyline 

trees new settlers on the grassland

"That tree wasn't there when I was little" 
my aunt remarked when she saw the pictures. 
"There were no trees."  

she looked at the pictures of a little house
told me about the stairs up to the attic where she and her sister slept
told me where the back door would have been, 
   the back porch where my grandfather would sit in the weeks 
   after the horses had bolted
   breaking his leg 
remembered her mom standing in the kitchen