Baffin Bay - Rosemary Kirstein

    You have felt the cold a hundred times
    seeking you across the open land,
    and held your breath against the wind
    that finds the place you stand.
    And how the light around you fills the air --
    the summer sun that lingers through the night,
    the day's slow sweep on the edges of the world,
    sensed along the edges of your sight.

    And so you turn;
    to the angle of the sun,
    to the tilting of the sky,
    to the moon's last quarter, gone,
    to the winds that lie under your hands,
    under your hands --
    The air as clean as ice on Baffin Bay.

    And so you seek the silence in your room
    and draw the shutters in against the snow.
    You hide your heart within these walls,
    and swear it's better so.
    But how the dark inside you fills your eyes.
    You try to hold the emptiness behind,
    and still your hands, restless at your sides,
    reaching for a wind they cannot find.

    And so you turn;
    from the moonlight on the floor,
    from the bottle on the shelf,
    from the locked and bolted door,
    and you tell yourself there's nothing outside --
    nothing outside --
    Nothing between here and Baffin Bay.

    All the gifts of shelter you refused,
    knowing there was something further on.
    And by that hope, you marked your road,
    so clear and yet so long.
    But how the stars above you never change.
    You lose the sense of distance left to go.
    You know at last: you'll never make it home --
    And it's still the same road.

    And so you turn;
    at the next warm light,
    at the next bright door.
    You stay for just a night,
    for just one more, and just for one more --
    Always one more.
    Then you call it home, but you dream of Baffin Bay

    © 1985, R.R.Kirstein


    Marco Giunco
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