Where Words Go
by Becky Dennison Sakellariou
PETERBOROUGH New Hampshire—(Weekly Hubris)—12/19/11—“Whenever it is time for me to leave a place, I don’t want to. But I am also happy to be where I am going. This poem speaks to that, written in early October this year when I was getting ready to leave Greece and fly to New Hampshire.”
“I must go now”
I must go now.
The edges of the leaves
of the new quince seedling
are already going brown.
I don’t know if it will survive
the winter I am away.
I trace the tough, mottled bark
of the trunks of fig, mulberry,
wild almond remember me.
The Hedge Hog cactus
points its furry green arrow
toward the afternoon sun
calling me to wait
just one more day to see
its translucent pink bloom.
The sea this afternoon
was more than the sea.
I sank into its deep black,
fishing boats, red, white, yellow
paint peeling, rocking,
listing through the surface of the water.
The sun was late to set
as if it, too,
couldn’t bear to leave.
I will plant more lavender
in the wild herb patch out front.
This summer, the thyme dried up, the verbena,
enthusiastically watered by Dimitri, rotted,
the rosemary wandered off to another spot.
This time it will be only lavender: French, Spike,
Provence, even Grappenhall, circled
by speckled grey and white rocks
brought up from the pebbled beach over the years.
When I return, it will be cold.
Night will come quickly,
I will close the shutters earlier,
start the fire, turn on the lights.
I will go to bed when the moon
has turned to its shadow
like it does tonight.
Did you say
you wanted me to stay?