The Geography of Home
There is no G.P.S. for the past.
No way to find a way back
To those nights spent ceaselessly watching
For Sputnik to wander across the eastern sky.
Or to those days that seem now
As delicate as the cellophane wings of dragonflies
Helicoptering over the rotting rowboat
Sinking slowly in the green shade
Of a lost lake.
Or as sudden as the iron curtain of rain
That sometimes swept that lake in late summer
Like a boundary between then and the possibility of now.
So much lonely time
Measured in a place of fading light
By the arc of barn swallows
And the dying blue-black panic
Of bottle flies stuck to the yellow flypaper
Hung over the wringer washer
On Grandmother’s back porch.
—Matthew Graham (Vanderburgh County)