Posts Tagged ‘found’

In Copley Square, off the Green Line, One Block from Trinity Church

I stepped off the train into the subway station,
ran to the news stand to look at candy,
then turned to ask mom, Can we buy it?
Blur of strangers. Thunder of trains.
Voice of man announcing arrivals.
Heart pounding. Heart pounding.
Where is my mother?
Child crying. Stale scent of piss.
Did she leave me?
I ran through the turnstile, then up, up,
up to find sidewalk, taxis, traffic, sirens,
businessmen, tourists, panhandlers,
and the smallness of myself,
a seven-year-old girl alone in a city
a thousand miles from home.
That was when I learned
you could know exactly where you are
on a map and still be lost.
That was when I learned
how desperately the heart
longs to be found.

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I said to my daughter, This time

let’s go without the map.

Never before did it occur to me

it might be more fun to be lost.

There were paths through tall dry stalks,

yes, but perhaps they were more—

an intimate landscape inviting me

again and again to lose myself now,

to lose myself now. It is harder to do

that it seems. The rustle of dry leaves,

the scent of earth, the blue sky overhead

like true north. But lost, I kept finding,

and found, I kept losing, and all

the while I kept laughing, oh, the joy

of putting one foot in front of the other,

the joy in not knowing which way

the path might turn next.




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The truth doesn’t care if I try to hide.
It knows exactly where I am and what
I am doing. It is perhaps like the game

I play while walking downtown
with my daughter. She runs ahead
on the sidewalk, then tucks her body

into a breezeway between buildings.
I pretend I do not see. Vivian? I call.
Vivian? Yooo hoooo. I walk past her,

while looking the other way.
I know that she knows that I know
that she knows that I know where she is.

Here, truth, here I am, I could say. As if I could be
anywhere else. As if I am longing for it to call
out my name so I might run toward it,

my arms open, laughing at the very joy
of being found at last, the joy of knowing
I was never really lost at all.

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sometimes it's clear

Lost: One woman, fortyish,
brown hair, tall, hazel eyes,
wearing black boots, jeans,
maroon sweater. Last seen
walking toward the edge of
what she thought was
possible. Can be identified
by a freckle on her left
pinkie finger. If seen,
ask her if she found the edge.
If she says yes, tell her to go
get lost again. That any edge
she can find is an illusion.
Tell here there is no
reward for her return.

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A Little Self Talk on a Snowy Evening

You are surely lost.
When is the last time
you knew the way home?
Was it back at that gas station
where you bought the chips
before you pulled out into the night?
Though even then the snow
was hurling its white fists into your lights.
But that was before your heart started
leaping like a startled deer into the
oncoming lane of your throat.
Oh darling, who are you kidding.
You were already lost even then.
Sure you could have pointed
to a dot on the map and said,
Exit 179, Here I am. But that
is just the game we play.
Something to satisfy our jumpy brains.
You have been lost since the day
you first could say your name,
the moment you knew yourself
as other, as separate, as something
that could be lost. Sometimes,
like now, when you think you
don’t know where you are,
see if you can lose a little more.
Your certainty. Your words. Your ideas.
Your shame. And maybe then,
off the map, out of hope, exposed
and unknowing, maybe that
is home.

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Making It

Not once did I think I was lost today
in the trees, but part of me wished
I were lost. It wasn’t the lost part so much
I was craving, but the thrill of feeling found.

Once I was lost in a strange city. I had
stepped off the tram at the stop where
the cathedral was. We were going to visit,
my mother and brother and I.
I went straight for the station’s candy stand, and stared
at the brightly wrapped sweets, then turned
to ask my mom for one. And she was not there.
Sure she had left the station, annoyed with my wanting,
I ran up the stairs toward the light
of the street. But she was not there.

Meanwhile, on the green line, my mother
had fallen asleep. Mom! said my brother,
Mom! When she woke, I was gone. She was sure
we were playing a trick. She checked under
all the seats. The adjacent cars.
She was without her ten-year-old girl in Boston.

I lost my mommy, I told the policeman.
He was standing right there on the corner.
He wiped my eyes, then took my hand
and walked me to the cathedral.
Out front, a man was having a seizure.
His arms flailed. His tongue wagged.
He flopped about on the square. Don’t worry,
the policeman said to me. He walked me right past.

Candles. Candles everywhere. Singing.
And stained glass. And marble statues.
And not my mother.

At the station, the policemen gave me candy.
As much as I wanted. M & Ms and Starburst.
I told them where we were staying in the outskirts.
They drove me there with the sirens off.

And though I was not lost today,
I still had in me something of the joy
that I had on that day when I was recovered
and delivered safely, through wildly good luck.
And why not feel joy. Today is as good as any other day
to celebrate finding my way home, no matter
how well I know my way around these woods.

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one cold night

everything gold

is brown




where, I say, is the bliss?

nowhere, says Ulli, until

it’s inside of you




lost: a car key,

a credit card, a friend’s coat,

my certainty




two untied balloons

one glorious





humming a tune

about October, how it goes,

October goes




brown, brown, brown, brown, brown,

countless unnamed shades

of (oh!) brown




found: another question,

a car key, a credit card,

a friend’s coat, a loss





to the one missing it

that much sweeter

the scent of rain


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Follow your feet
said the hands.

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I know she is there hiding
inside the sandwich board,
and she knows I know she is there.

And I know she is the one
tickling my foot while I stand.
And she knows I know it is her.

But for an hour and some,
I hunt for her behind columns,
in windows, inside my sleeves.

I call her name and pout
when she doesn’t appear.
And for an hour and some,

she crouches inside
her small sandwich board tent,
and giggles at not being found.

All around us the people rush past
to work, to lunch, to coffee shops,
to all the places we see each other hide.

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That Was the Day

I ran for it, her leg,
and clung to the green plaid
of her pants while she flipped

through boy’s shirts on a circular rack.
I’d been hiding beneath them.
Why did she not right away tell me

but let me, how much later,
look up to see the glasses,
the perfect blonde hair,

the whole Kmart kaleidoscoping
around the woman not at all
my mom. The shirts,

their sleeves hung so empty by.
I was found in the toothpaste aisle.
Perhaps I looked unchanged,

but that was the day I knew
I could lose her, my mother.
I followed her past the blue lights

to the checkout, still crying, no longer
the same girl who walked into the store,
not letting go of her hand.

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