To the Land of Lakes

So far away, so close to home
the leaves filled with life, the air
fragrant wafting as we wandered, walked
that warm night, just barely spring, together.
parted now we wait and we dream
of that summer’s sweet reunion again.

To love and laugh and breathe again
stifled at a moment: shelter at home,
waking from the scholarly life’s dream.
down, down we come from thoughts in air
exploring from atop giants’ shoulders, together
we left the gothic towers, a solemn walk.

Naught to do but to plan, plan a long, long walk
that takes me to the end, to you again
a humid summer’s lonesome road together
shade to shade, coast to coast, home to home
the journey settles on my sore neck like the dense air
body on the move, mind on the dream.

Hurtling down the Appalachian hills - no dream,
anticipating speed like a batter drawing a walk
arrow-fast, cold wind slicing, through thin air
no brakes, no skids, no stops, just turn again.
Over the next valley, just push further to home -
just follow the fog line, me and the wind, together.

Thrown by the winds of chance, apart, together,
a part of you in my journey, in my dream.
Three cats, blooming garden, rushing river: your home.
start and end of wandering, wondering, my walk.
We found the seed of History, planted again,
lost for so long, uncertain like a butterfly in rough air.

Let me out! back to the surface, burning for air
I set about my day alone, not together,
sitting the same routine, watching the same screen again.
I wait for midnight, for my dream
of you and me and a sweet spring’s walk
in that square mile we called home.

When summer’s gaze bakes the air, I’ll dare to dream
Of laughs, love together, of state fairs and river walks
We’ll dance once again, on the long road home.


This sestina was written at the end of March for the HUM 470: Poetry and Computation course at Princeton. I had just come home (not very far), and my girlfriend had left. In my mind I pictured a literal journey, a long bicycle tour, from central Jersey to Minnesota. The stanzas trace that imagined route, then come home to the present. Now in July I am there with her (by plane, not bike), and the cats are sweet, and I am happy.