Leaving Home by Richard Spilman

It was a day like any other

but then, after a rain, the sun broke

through the clouds like a summons

and blessed the baptized trees

with the green truth of their grace.

I was eight and followed wherever

the light commanded, and here

it lifted me over the fence and down

to the creek, bowlegged and barefoot,

poking with a stick for crawdads.

It took me under the bridge at the edge

of town and into a country patched

with acres of green and green and yet

more green, soy, alfalfa and corn

high enough for an army to get lost in,

until there were no more trees,

just the creek and a gravel road,

dust rising like a controlled burn

from passing cars and me following

the clouds to their destination,

lost but neither aware nor caring.

And even when they found me,

for some small-minded soul had kept

watch, I would not believe how far

I’d gone or what time it had got to be.

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