My father wants me to marry
someone with a sense of direction.
He can't believe I don't know north.
In our house it was simple:
the kitchen door was south.
When Mr. Parker made me chart
stars from our winter driveway,
I could remember where to look
for the Hunter, the Sisters
because the door stood at my back.
These days I'm not sure, that back door
a compass I couldn't pocket.
My father puzzles over this. To him
losing your way is like losing
your hand. Unthinkable. I try to
imagine a sense of direction
that palpable. A shirt I could put on.
Cotton, with long sleeves, cuffs to roll
north over south over north.
I would wear it like a loose skin.
Skin that could save me
from muttering hills east, water west
as I climb to where I am now.
Poems by Melody Lacina:
for Comet Hyakutake
TEN: An Anthology of Northern California Poets