Beginning of forgetting

(with a nod to Marguerite Duras)

“I sensed within me … enough  cowardice
to resign myself to life as it is.”
     Gabrielle Roy, Street of Riches

 

I was lost before I was lost,

couldn’t find myself in Dixon,

Paradise, Plains, Hot Springs,

 

missed me in Ravalli, Arlee,

even my mirror looking back.

Seems I can’t get a compass right, 

 

leave Missoula behind, head west,

reach the Snake, the Columbia,

Camas, Astoria, the sea.

 

A lover who loves rescue said 

go, find some deserted beach,

plant strands of wire, wait

 

for spring, see if barbs grow.

Better, I rent a place near Forks,

maybe Queets, sleep alone,

 

dream myself a philosopher 

of loss. Like Duras, map

a way out. Find loss, itself, 

 

not to be the finale -- 

but a great darkness falling,

the beginning of forgetting.

 

A way to kindle hope —

to become certain the end 

does not become the end.

                              Timothy Pilgrim