Meadows in Vermont
The dream was the same for years: an auburn sun
staining the goldenrod as you twirled away summer
with the windchime of your laughter. The birds
were shot arrows under the cobalt dome of sky,
their bright and busy bodies plump with gifts.
Your downy legs pumped through the tall
grasses, and your dress floated with movement,
in a flurry of dandelion poufs. It was safe,
and it was warm. You were glad, and you grew.
You were glad. You were safe. I held onto this.
It was nothing, but it was everything. It was
all I had. Distance, karma, circumstance;
I could lay blame anywhere, but the stone
of guilt is mine to carry. Now all I want,
all I ever wanted, is to journey back
to those wild-flowered meadows, to pick
bouquets of devotion and remorse, to go
where you are, where I left you. Though
the landscape twists through the kaleidoscope
of seasons, though the miles are longer than ever,
providence as fickle and deaf as always, know
that wide, green pastures are calling to me, that
I lie awake, nightly sending wishes to the mantle
of heavenly bodies, thinking of you, daughter,
and yes, the little one: your happy girl.
Tell her that sometimes, when the blithe moon
hangs its radiant lantern over the fields, when
she clambers out of bed, sleepy-headed, to look
in wonder, that I am looking at the same moon,
that I am looking for her, and for you, still.