Gone for Good
My sister has gone crazy
again. It is a place she goes
alone. When she is out there
she tries to stay in touch but she goes
so far out of range what she hears
from us is muffled by the distance.
And then she just gets confused.
When she leaves, no one knows she’s going
not even she knows she’s going,
so her doors are wide open and
her phone is ringing and her cats
and dogs are hungry are crying.
There are people who try to help
her find her way home, but the routes
are unmarked, are dark and dangerous
if you’re traveling alone–which
she always is.
And no one can be sure that she even
wants to come back–because in the static
of the distance she seems to be saying
she knows. She knows this place. And she can see
and hear us clearly. Is that what she’s saying?
We can’t be sure. It’s so far from here and
we have never been.
The first time she went she was so young. That
was ages ago and it was treacherous
trying to find her way back alone. But over
the years she’s grown accustomed to the journey.
Strange as it seems to us, she feels it is
important to go. She keeps going a
little further each time and even when
she finds her way back, she leaves something
of herself there. We worry that soon
more of her will be there than here.
When she is back here she doesn’t talk
about that place with us. She keeps it
private. She is protective. She doesn’t
want to share it. So we look away. By
then we’re happy to have her home. But
we know she’ll be going back. We know
someday she’ll be gone for good.
Because You Can’t Wait
for the Way To Say It
all winter the deer bedded
at the bottom of the hill where
the creek runs, their cold skies
laced with bare branches
suddenly green reached out
to the tips of every tree
and now grasses in the field are lit
and there’s so much more to say
how sweet that first hyacinth
up from the heaving leaf-meal
behind the wood pile
Robin Havenick is a retired community college literature teacher who writes for Street Roots in Portland, Oregon and whose writings have also appeared in Creative Nonfiction, Tahoma Literary Review, and Oregon Poetry Association’s Verseweavers.