There’s a thread you follow.
– William Stafford (“The Way It Is”)
Perhaps it was something your mother said
that dashed the demons, or a quiet reverie
with your father when the mallards rose
above the cattails, dripping from a cloudy
Sabbath sky, or a lover who gave you eyes
to see into others, or those grand epiphanies
that have taken root in your mind, found
fertile ground among the folds of gray
to produce a home to become you.
And when we stray from who we are,
we must hold on to the thread to hear their voices
ring above the din of falsehoods beckoning.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.
– William Stafford, (“The Way It Is”)
Out on Highway 99, silhouettes of semi-trucks
appear in the fog, grow into tiny lights ahead
or leer, big-eyed from behind in a blind rush –
up and down the Valley – like trains submerged,
caravans tunneling this thick and gray resistance
to time’s unfolding as the road grows longer.
The Real Birds came visiting in their Cadillac
and laughed at how I measured miles to Fresno
by the clock, grinning from a grounded dimension.
Our thread is not a straight line connecting cities,
but meanders more like a creek with gravity –
with the flow or against the current to its source.