There are long stalks of whithered grass
On the furrowed field of the island. Where the ghost of a house stands erect
On the breath
Of spirits. Where God himself has touched or forsaken
And the tribal elders refuse to follow. And in the forest
The echoes of children, nearly hidden by the zen of the rushing stream
Of snowmelt from the jagged cliffs of enumerated mountains
"Remember," said the note. "If you read this, remember."
The river flows whether or not. The water moves. Your cares
none of its concern. Alive or dead. Mystified or bored. Afraid
or sanctified, it runs river run. And the letter in my hand
"If it's you, remember."
Knees pressed against dusty rough-hewn floorboards. Uneven
Untrod for decades. Here is where they lived. The children
Played the pies were baked. This is where it was, the ghost of
The home still standing but for the breath of long dead giants
Cookie crumbling orange brown the tin barely opens, the paper
Inside yellowed and brittle. The pencil scrawl in the child's hand
"Today the owl put me into her mouth, and I knew I was dead
Woke up here this note to you if you find it,
If you're me remember you know K1
To see K1
You love K1
And K1 loves you."
"What do you make of it?"
"I don't know let's get out of here
This place is falling down." "Who is it to?"
"More to the point, why?"
"Why was it written?"
"No. Why did I find it?"
"Because you looked..."
"No. Why did I find it?"
"Don't be silly."
"Why me? All these years
And what is K1?"
The water rushes beside the uneven house, condemned and barely standing
But for a few nails and the ghosts of the family who once within its
Walls lived, white noise caring not for being too loud at night or
Too cold to swim when young in the day
Moving running whether you're sick or not. Whether you're tired or not.
Whether you know or not. Whether she's died or not, the child lives.
Day after day. Night after night. Year after year. Life begets life
In the owl's field where the children once played, the note in my hand
"'If you're me, remember.' What does it mean?"
"It's a note
To himself. He wrote it to himself in another time."
"Why did I find it, why me and what is
There are enumerated peaks and mountains nobody has named
There are children born
And then born
By day the eagle's hunting talons ready
By night the owl's own, death the sleep sweet slumber
When she tired of the light
Cried here over her
Rest and wake again the river runs the house still stands
A truth, a note in my hand
That look in her eyes, disbelief, the enumeration, every hair is counted,
Remember sweet Rosabelle answer
I love the smile and the breath you once were
The river flows whether I remember or not so I will
I will, yes, I will
The eagle and the owl
Snowfall on hills we have not named
My childhood and my children
A path I once walked
The elder woman whose dark face beneath her beaded shawl, saying
Fear not sleepyhead
For if I die before I wake
I pray I may this soul to take
Reflects from the brown rock cliffs of mountains named for numbers
Holding the paper, "Why did I find it?" smiling and without words so I knew
My fortune telling fortune
"This echo is you," the owl woman told.
"Crying she is gone,"
Then touching, "This echo is you,"
And then hundreds not fading
Time after time, come to this spot, to remember
I am hundreds but one and the mountain the house the eagle the owl
I need not remember
What the heart will not forget
Though time may steal my sight
Though I live here
So far from the house and the field on the island
"Why did you find it?"
"Maybe it found me."
"And what is K1?"
"Is it you?"
Then so let me read, "Within these walls
Within this heart..."
"But is it you, this echo?"
This now shall I write
There is no end to what loves
There is no end she touches
One never lost yet found.
Remember if you're me.
Remember you feel what you may not know