The Solace in Naming

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Today we sped along a back road that keeps pace

With the unfolding hills; the humps of indigo

That keep reaching backward, granite-pillared, gods chained

In stone at the backstroke, lapis lazuli tiers of butte

Sprinkled with brush and many light-shot stones.

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We raced along with the clouds and I bent over my coffee

Like a question mark, looking out at the marvelous.

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“Deus mihi providebit”—God will provide for me,

Words from an old crest on my wall, in the house where I braid

Strands of solitude, growing, paining.

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Once these words with their dark and detailed serifs

Seemed to belong to another world, an Arabia, a familial empire

Far back, with this marked in red

Contemporary italic:  “I fear coming home to myself.”

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I close my eyes in belief:

I am standing in a drawing room, in low lamplight,

Singing an Italian song.

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Or, I am a cormorant, exotic, aloof

In a garden pond ringed with orchids: I am a blue sail on fire

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But not that, not that.  I close my eyes

And I am straightening my back in a farm kitchen, pulling dough

From my fingers, shaking out pastry cloth over tendrils

Pushing through mulched dark Colorado earth.

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And no cormorant, but egret, tercel,

Third and smaller bird on that wire stretching off

Toward  Berthoud,

Parallel to and then diverging from the rolling,

Train-like caravan of mountains.

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