Carly Wheelehan Gelsinger
is a body’s homecoming with dappled rays
& days that give up so young—
I've come to learn that staying alive is to accept
the earth's parting & returning. At first scent
of autumn, long before storm,
my father without thinking would wrap himself
in layers & search the forest for the moss-covered oak
that would warm us in winter.
We are too precious about memory.
November comes with turning clocks to remind us
memory is not trace lines
& lace doilies, but a drumline in our guts.
Sometimes I dream of turning back to God
& her curves in chestnut pew,
where my sadness was holy. Sometimes
I remember you over the stove on blue mornings.
The way your hands poached eggs,
your comically large grip around a wooden spoon
& how I stared down the swirling pot, watching white
ribbons coil around themselves.
Forgive me for returning. It has been so cold.