The journey of a GI bride
I left the sulphur steelworks’ rain
The rolling hills, with Viking names
The pea-green river sluiced to sea,
The town, the street and part of me.
Landed. Stamped. Deloused. Unmet.
I travelled west.
Arrested by the sea,
I made my home by palm and peach,
Saw deserts flower and Joshua’s tree,
Humming birds and guns. I stayed.
No headstone marked my firstborns’ plot.
On secret days,
I whispered tales of kin and kith,
Of back to backs and fires and frost,
Of Guy Fawkes Night and conker trees,
Of fog and sleet and things I’d lost.
Each morning, now, I watch the sun
Rise over the faulted mountain peak
And bleed its westward race, from them to me.
I pray for words.
I’ve travelled far and yet I find
The longest journey that I make,
Is from the empty mailbox… home.