A Birthday Poem for Owen Turning 18

Of her teenage days without a home

the woman says, “But there were parts

I wished would last forever.  The mountains

as the sun rose, watching from inside

a moving boxcar.”


For me, it was the water

in the marl spring, that bubbled

up out of the clay within dim

shadows of the cedars

too clear to see until we bent

our faces down to drink before

we headed back to camp

on one October night.


Most people if they’re lucky

see a landscape they remember

for the moment that it made the world

seem real, a place

that they would never want to leave.


The really lucky people, I believe,

are those who find a way to

see that landscape everywhere

in each new moment of their lives.

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