South For The Winter

January 15, 2008
By Carly Driscoll, Jacksonville, FL

When I woke up, you were gone.
I was dreaming our hands were knotted much like my stomach, but soon,
your fingers, palms, hands, were gone.
I was dreaming that our hands were tied and that you felt the strength of it
deep in your bones.
When I woke up alone, my dream was gone.

I always remember how your egg-speckled skin was tight over your
spine, your
wings threatening to explode from it, as if you really wanted to flee.
your skin was warm and soft as I waited for your bird to hatch and fly away
as we sat for the first time and last,
when we sat and you laid your head in my lap nest and
we watched how the birds were gone from the bare trees,
they too had flown away. And then you said,
“that will be me soon.”
and how did I move a muscle without yours guiding the way?
you move all of my muscles.

I was dreaming that you had flown south for the winter,
you can never stand the cold, even though I stand yours.
I had a dream that your pillow was empty except for twigs and grass and a feather,
but when I woke up, you were there and so was your hand,

knitted into mine. The window was open,
I could hear the flocks off in the distance, calling to you, telling you
“she’s keeping you all but grounded.
soon isn’t soon enough.”

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