Sunday, September 20, 2009

On the Road Back to Home

This is an old one, but it is one of my favorites. I wrote it while driving (literally) on Interstate 64, coming back to Virginia from California.

On the Road Back to Home

The name is but a word we speak
Sometimes with sweetness, letting it float
In the air on the tailwinds of a sigh
And the endless trail of a stinging tear;
Or sometimes it gets spat out from the depths
Of the throat like phlegm less bitter by far
On the tongue than it is on the heart
Though still painful as, puffing, we breathe.

No name could ever speak the truth
Of all the treasures found upon this land
That lies between two shores and two vast seas that seem
Themselves to sigh the name
From “Ah!” to “Ah!” with each wave’s crash,
The rest sung forth before the dawn
In myriad morning melodies
With winged notes that ride the light
That shows the sun its ancient path
And all its footprints made before.

My feet have left much less a mark
Upon this fertile, fragile soil,
My soles too tender, my legs too weak
To race the sun and see what it has seen
So often, yet returning day by day;
Mine has been a much more humble course
Than that of him we honor as we say

But still I’ve rambled, seen what I could see
From sea to sighing sea,
And on this journey, driven on by love
Of every jewel that makes the sunlight gleam,
The many winding paths I’ve walked,
The countless bridges quickly crossed
Have often left me scared and lost
Within the forest, by an icy stream,
In some far corner of America.

So hungry, bleeding, tired, and cold
I stand at last upon this stretching road
That leads me to the doorstep left behind,
Both sidewalks decorated now
With lamps of crimson, orange, gold, and green
That light the way from where I’ve been
And guide me, sparkling for a season, back to home—
Though now I pause, behold this autumn’s flare,
And sink as rain back into sacred ground.

Image credit: pfly, from Wikimedia Commons, under a Creative Commons License.