Migration, Larry Woiwode

Chase. 2012. Sandstone. 50 cm H x 90 cm W x 30 cm D. Albany, Duncan Moon

 

MIGRATION

 

Were the distances incised in you
from the first, when you let your body lie
at rest the length of my forearm, your head
gripped in my hand? O little girl, barely seventy
ounces at birth, seemingly ill prepared for flight,
only a single hand restraining you at the sea’s edge,
now you circle the earth in search of absolution
in a Manarola pool or bath at Bath, immersion
at any site except your city room — a window
for your exit to the West glowing and wide
open for your flight from the numb mean
you fear governs me: no transparency;

so, formed for flight from birth, head
off on a once-known course, the Far East,
employing the migratory flyway; you’re far too
developed to restrain — these old bones giving in
in me like cargo in a ferry gone awash while with
a lightening of your own you lift away the birdlike
weight I supported along the length of one arm,
the way my dead father (as I suppose) once
held me, he who was a mother to me, too;
and I see how it was that he gave up on
me entirely at fifty, fearing I’d never
find, unlike you, a winter home.

_________________
Larry Woiwode

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