When did hordes of sentences start beginning with So?
As if everything were always pending,
leaning on what came before.
What can you expect?
Loneliness everywhere, entertained or kept in storage.
So you felt anxious to be alone.
Easier to hear, explore a city, room,
mound of hours, no one walking beside you.
Talking to self endlessly, but mostly listening.
This would not be strange.
It would be the tent you slept in.
Waking calmly inside whatever
you had to do would be freedom.
It would be your country.
The men in front of me had whole acres
in their eyes. I could feel them cross, recross each day.
Memory, stitched. History, soothed.
What we do or might prefer to do. Have done.
How we got here. Telling ourselves a story
till it’s compact enough to bear.
Passing the walls, wearing the sky,
the slight bow and rising of trees.
Everything ceaselessly holding us close.
So we are accompanied.
Never cast out without a line of language to reel us back.
That is what happened, how I got here.
So maybe. One way anyway.
A story was sewn, seed sown,
this was what patriotism meant to me—
to be at home inside my own head long enough
to accept its infinite freedom
and move forward anywhere, to mysteries coming.
Even at night in a desert, temperatures plummet,
billowing tent flaps murmur to one other.
The Tent By Naomi Shihab Nye
We dwell in tents
in handmade huts of various sizes
in the style of this dimension…
We walk in a storybook called life
As we undergo our epic journey
Wind turns the pages
made of sunshine and rain
mud and stars
This novel ever winding
reaching to climax
Its chapters building to grand finale
Line by line
story within story
Our stories and events
winding in, out, beside, through
Characters come and go
it is how we be-come
how we begin to find ourselves
within the infinity of another
We keep weaving this gorgeous tapestry
with the three threads
that hold the power to change us forever:
At times we feel alone
But reality is –
We are never alone!
this is truth –
The very air we breathe
makes us one with each other
We walk about naming our world
as God instructed us to do –
ever naming is our instinctual work
As in all great love stories
there is never an ending
only that ever-wondrous thought
from age to age
the relay of the ancestors…
into this very moment…
as it will for our children’s children
always…to be continued…
Amy Lloyd (AL)