I just stopped by this morning,
wheels crunching slowly on gravel,
to see again through a lifting fog,
this dear old meadow
where we took down the fences
and piled the wood.
Once, I thought, we'd never leave.
Use the old boards for a cabin
on the far side of the field
near the two trees,
gnarled oak, straight pine,
away from highway noise,
watch the sky, tell our tales,
and hold each other forever.
Now I lean against the car for a moment,
straining to catch your voices, your songs,
among the wild flowers we used to pick,
hearing mostly the distant hum of tires
on the Interstate behind me up the rise.
I'll be late today. I don't care.
When I first began to drive it again,
smiling, waving, promising,
I swore that I would not fail, on this commute,
to stop and see you, or at least drop a postcard
in our secret spot, and check for one of yours.
I watch a single butterfly, first of spring,
and sadly note that
I'm fifteen disconcerted miles beyond the exit
before I even remember this place.
The smile I wear this morning is sad.
The early mist is thick. I cannot see you all
though I know you are out there
still romping in high grass.
It's very strange. The metal of my car
feels hard and sleek and real
against the knuckles of clenched hands.
So different from soft welcome of
the warm humid air of this familiar place.
And yet I feel like a ghost.
I just stopped by this morning to say
I miss you.