A Moveable Feast


“How tempting it has been to settle once and for all in one place where roots might grip soil for longer than a season and I might learn the patterns of shadow and light across floor beams and children’s faces.”

Picnic-2Six sets of hands circled round me

the day that I entered that very fine house

and I was petted and loved on

my head was ringed with kisses and toasts were made to bless me

and I suppose that it was there that my story began


Mine was a childhood gilded

I know

for days stretched long and full and calm

and I sailed my boat upon placid waters

but, somehow, there was always a knowing

and I longed to string those days

on ribbons of silk

one upon the other

and tie them around the necks of the lonely ones

who hid in corners

so that they might know what home smelled like


Then, as they should

hands spun dizzy on clock faces and calendar pages flapped wild

and I left the only address I had ever memorized

A journey southward where the thick books waited

and the smart ones with spectacles lectured on life and love and liturgy

I brought lamps and baked cookies

for this land held an unfamiliar smell

the light fell differently

and I longed to know my place


When people whose tongues danced differently

spoke into my days

new chapters began to write themselves

and the narrative that had wrapped round me

all my years

was grafted with new fabric and threads of color and light


One day

I donned a gown of gossamer

and spoke promises into the ear of one who held my hands and heart

we feasted on cheese and fruit as we drove down the road

cans clanging at our tailpipe and blessings scribbled on the glass that framed our past


There were many houses

places where we rested our heads and drank coffee and talked deep into the night

One, a handful of rooms, connected in a triangle

Another, thick with accent and opinions

Still another, bursting with people and barking and intention

all of them structures

made real

with joy and tears and feasting


How tempting it has been to settle

once and for all

in one place

where roots might grip soil for longer than a season

and I might learn the patterns of shadow and light

across floor beams and children’s faces


But home is a moveable feast

and, perhaps, I should think of everywhere

as the place that I might stay forever

To imagine

that everywhere my feet trod

is holy ground


And, if all along

all of the days

I keep on stringing

all of the moments and memories and murmurings

of what is real and here and now

perhaps, then, I would take hold

of this moveable feast

For then

there will always be a table upon which

bread can be broken

and new wineskins can be filled