I get it now. It has taken me 3000 walks
around the same block, passing the same houses,
almost poking out my eye 600 times
on that low branch, running into the raccoon
13 times, saving one rabbit from certain death.
I get it now, after thirteen Christmas Eves
and all the lights on every house blinking
darkness away, clouds seldom
giving up stars secrets, moon coming
only after rain like a blanched eye,
not to mention the little stream that in spring
rushes under the road to water blackberries
whose brambles reach into the road. I get it.
It’s taken 900 times struggling up the incline
of my wooded path that never grows easy,
never flattens or forgives how I walked down,
swinging arms, laughing, sometimes ranting
to knotty trees about some politician.
I get it now, after all this the return here
where she sleeps and the one
we made rests in her room, both safe,
both certain I would leave in the night,
but also certain I would return to them.
I get it now. I finally understand. I’m home.
Copyright © James Walvis 2016
James Valvis has placed poems or stories in Arts & Letters, Barrow Street, Natural Bridge, Ploughshares, River Styx, Southern Indiana Review, The Sun, and many others. His poetry was featured in Verse Daily. His fiction was chosen for Sundress Best of the Net. He lives near Seattle.