Returning Home

A memory is an old kodachrome slide

fading, framed and contained,

Only visible with a light source.

If I stand by the car at night

It quiets, releases heat, ticks rhythmically.

I stop to look at the stars in the dark canvas above.

I remember doing that with each child after our nights out.

Driving them to town, to their new circle of life,

When they leave this little planet of mine,

And begin to circle out , creating their own universe.

A moment in the quiet dark,

Examining the immortal sky,

I am stable and unafraid of the shadows,

Knowing that the dangers do not lie there.

The children all shrank from the shadows,

Reaching the teens they still carried their fear of darkness,

and yet were fearless of cars, strangers, life itself.

We would stop for a minute, the child and me,

the house humming with light and warmth beside us.

The dark shadows surrounding us, the stars flickering above.

I could stand there forever, savouring the stars with my children.

I can smell a winter night, chimney smoke, I can feel a hand on my arm.

When my memory dies, it dies with me.

The stories that disappear have no echo.

All that I know, goes with me.  

Joins the knowing night, the winking stars.

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