Things We Cannot Name

For JD

How long it took to know, however hard we wished
There was no return, no starting over for us –

With an ocean between I recall a day in California
The fire of summer inside
Cool blessing of water nearby
Our spirits falling to the clarity of desire and later

Waist-deep in mountain brook I lifted from the current
A king snake without fear:
Nothing could harm me then, doubt had no hold –

How a thing so good twists into something we kill
I cannot say, but if I doubt now
I doubt you like I do God
Who I cannot see, but remember from somewhere.

Perhaps there is no other reason for love
Than images wrecked by time
Memories richer than blood, miraculous ways
That lead to who we are: each of us a wilderness

A wildflower trail, and things without name that linger:
The mysterious scent of the golden violet … California.

 

Viola_douglasii_image51

 

Rayn Roberts

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