Homeward

By ROBERT CORDING

One of those words from another time,
I think, as my walk circles back
towards my house, the wind, an accomplice
with the cold this late November day,
filming my eyes with tears. The sun’s bounce
is gone. It’s resigned to going down
earlier each day, and sinks slowly over
the pond towards December’s bottom.

When a truck passes, piled deep with cut wood,
it magnifies the longing in my body
for the cold day to flame up. Nostalgia:
the pain of it, how it cleaves return
and home, so there’s no getting home,
not again, not ever, but only the remembering
of some happiness that went unrecognized
when, long ago, it was being had.

The streetlights remind me the time is later
than I’d realized, and for a moment
I’m that sojourner in the Psalms, a stranger
in a strange land who knows how the world
will never be the home he wants it to be. Fallen,
and heaped up by the wind at the road’s edge,
a windrow of pine needles seems pale as the clippings
of my childhood hair on the barber’s floor.

 

Robert Cording teaches English and creative writing at College of the Holy Cross where he is the Professor of English and Barrett Professor of Creative Writing. He has published seven collections of poems: Life-list, which won the Ohio State University Press/Journal award, in l987; What Binds Us To This World (Copper Beech Press, l991); Heavy Grace, (Alice James, l996); Against Consolation  (CavanKerry Press, 2002); Common Life, (CavanKerry Press, 2006); Walking With Ruskin (CavanKerry, 2010), which was runner-up for the Poets’ Prize last year; and his newest, A Word in My Mouth: Selected Spiritual Poems (Wipf and Stock, 2013).  He has received two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships in poetry and two poetry grants from the Connecticut Commission of the Arts.

[Click here to purchase your copy of Issue 08]

Homeward

Related Posts

Headshot of Anne Pierson Wiese

Sharp Shadows

ANNE PIERSON WIESE
On our kitchen wall at a certain time / of year appeared what we called the sharp / shadows. / A slant of western light found / its way through the brown moult of fire / escape hanging on to our Brooklyn rental / building for dear life and etched replicas / of everything

Sunlight coming through a window. Photo from Pexels.

January 2024 Poetry Feature: Four Poems by Vinod Kumar Shukla

VINOD KUMAR SHUKLA
To get out of bed in the morning, / I don’t depend on anyone / except on my sleep. / If I’m fast asleep / and it’s time to get out of bed, / I find myself opening my eyes. / When I want to stay awake, sleep won’t come. / If I stay awake all night / sleep won’t come all night.

A bumblebee on a daffodil

January 2024 Poetry Feature: Part I

ADRIENNE SU
Every woman / is expected to become. / Always being touched, // always creating, / I cherished being wanted / and necessary, // was glad to possess / a body that could nourish / more than its own mind. // Yet I couldn’t sleep / though I ached for sleep; something.