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October 21, 2019

The Tiny Pilgrimage. A Poem About Seeking Inner Peace Close to Home.

I went on a pilgrimage

Not to Mecca, or the Wailing Wall

Not to Graceland, or the tombs of other saints

This was a tiny pilgrimage

 

I stood by the ruins of our old family home

Kicking rocks into the burnt out basement

Letting the ghosts swirl

So young and sure of themselves

Yet clueless about love and life

They laughed and cried and questioned hurt they will never understand

 

I drove down narrow roads and stood in open fields

I told my friend where I had been

“The willows are gone” he said

Nothing more

Shorthand for our childhood

Simplicity

Smooth hands on furrowed bark

Bodies swinging in the curved crowns

Stem to stem

Under the endless skies of summer

 

I walked to the streambed

Where in spring the water ran deep

Dog and her human, we had skirted the edge and crossed on a fallen tree

Now the stream was a trickle

Summer storms had pounded the muddy bank

Erased the boot prints and pawprints

Washed away the scent of her fur

The fragrance of the unseen forest

The brush and the brambles

 

I laid with you in the half light of the day’s end

Your face against my chest

Sharing the gentle wisdom of life

The mundane wonder of existence

The rise and fall of our breath

The steady rhythm of our hearts

Accumulating toward a finite sum

 

Two pilgrims holding each other

Talismans against awakening to nothingness

It was there my soul found peace

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Alistair Schroff  |  Contribution: 3,455