I drove down to Pensacola,
thinking all along I'd rather he was driving
beside me, if only I could not be alone.
The past can be a fickle thing--one moment
benign, the next a falcon ready to strike,
ready to take, ready to rise from the mind
with this or that memory I might prefer
not to drag from the depths.
I came away glad for the dredging
of the past. No corpses, only
bittersweetness like coffee made just right;
a song that makes me laugh and weep;
the sound of Reveille waking me
from a dead sleep.
I drove home from Pensacola
preserving a pink paper crane on the seat
beside me. She graces now the doorway
of a great gift of life that precludes
neither past nor present,
nor all the chaos in between.