by Linda S. Swanberg

book sm
I look back upon you
(child who made me what I am today)
skein of potentiality—unwound thread of redeeming choices

how could I have known my journey
would be all the longer with no end in sight?

nights up alone as a youth, I read by candlelight
secret books—read how lives were relinquished all at once
one life for another, no matter what the cost

in a dream about Auschwitz, Edith Stein tells me not to grow faint—
not be swayed by anything on either side of the long boardwalk
—be relentless, she says—keep walking—
she holds out her hand—in her open palm: a giant moth
I hold my breath,
touch a trembling wing,
and it flies off

clearly, I am not alone

a long river winds toward the sea
indivisible, the hidden life of water—
of coral, rock, anemone

ceaselessly earthworms tunnel black soil
ancient guardians of earth
no night can surprise with darkness

cedar waxwings swirl en masse in a late fall sky
finally land on the Norway maple outside my bedroom window
startling cries command attention

I look back: books for a young girl’s greening self—
winding river of dreams (water’s tremulous murmur)
earthworms, birds, and solitary trees—

boundaries overlap in swirling hours
all are a part of me—I carry them in my heart


Category: Poetry, SNHU Creative Writing, SNHU online creative writing