mom collage

Ballard Locks

Water a slip slickness behind glass–

salmon struggle against current.

The girl beside me presses her face

to the greenness, all nose smudge and forehead.


Thick bodies squirming with the effort

of returning home.  Outside the viewing room


the air is brine-scented, the sky optimistic blue.

I have not seen my mother in months

but I know above her the dusk is pulling across clouds–

the first stars emerging.  The nights are shorter here,


as if afterthoughts.


I am missing my family, and I don’t know when I’ll be back East to see them next.  I am finally placing my roots here, but that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten where I’ve come from.  I wish sometimes that I could populate my own village, with the people I love and care about.  The world is such a vast place.  Right now, I know people who have been asleep for hours, I know people who have a dark sky above them.  I’m not sure that I know anyone just beginning to wake, but it’s a matter of time.  How large, this earth.  How incredibly vast.

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