Apogee

There comes a time in every outward journey

when you reach apogee

the mathematical

hypothetical

mystical instant of the orbit

when you are furthest from your life

and you feel the curve of it

the swerve of it

the pull of it

toward home.


The ferry back across the Minch, say,

when the night mist draws

the curtain closed behind you

and no matter how hard you look past the disappearing wake

you cannot see the island’s dear shape.


Overhead two gulls keen with their sea-scald voices

You mun stay, calls the one peeling away behind

You mun go, cries the other wheeling ahead


And your heart veers to stay

but your ticket’s marked RETURN.


Standing on the deck there

you transit apogee

as the wind puffs out your jacket obscuring your shape

and your scarf unravels away from your neck like a flag

and your hat blows away on a gust

as the first rays of the sunrise over the mainland

make prisms of your tears

and of a sudden

home opens its arms

its grandmother bosom

its hens in the farmyard
its lilacs by the door

its weathervane

its fireworks

its memories circling round to hook

like a tail onto the kite of the future

and you know.

RoMa Johnson ~~~February 2021

 © 2020 by RoMa Johnson. Web design by E. Hoyt Design