On Leaving an Island

Not once in those six weeks was I aware Of living in suspension, cast adrift From distant hills or bandied in the shift Of tides; the stars were ballast, earth and air Belonged to inland masses miles away; Both worlds bore wiry blossoms, wind-bent trees, Supported headland chastened by the seas

And yielded to the seasons, day by day. The mailboat brought us in -- to stronger sun, The village sounds, the scent of orchards, time That moved in somber rhythms to the chime Of steeple clocks. The autumn had begun.

I told them I'd be back -- no long goodbye -- To live again where no one thinks to die.

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