The past cannot be changed and so be it.
Memories are tricky, colored through the lens
of a woman decades removed from the frightened
confused child that once inhabited her flesh.
Reflection proves hindrance to repeating history
indelibly seared into grooves of a young brain,
though truly I made my own mistakes;
surprised mostly at the anger
I suspect killed female ancestors before me,
channeled through gallbladder, heart valves and grief.
Unexpressed, emotions lick the interior
like flames snapping brightly from a campfire;
marshmallow memories and stars beyond stars,
night skies prompting snakes to sister up
beside warm bodies in sleeping bags
cosseted snugly by warm desert sands.
Battle hymns and cowboy songs split into rounds,
a family chorus contained within metal and glass
hurling us over one-lane roads into the wild.
Perhaps Dad should have remained a gypsy,
perpetually rambling across vast mesas
rimmed with scrub and blooming ocotillo,
leaving Mother her city shopping and lusty novels;
caravan stocked with erudition and pungent spices,
living out dreams of his own.
If that is my inheritance it is enough,
love of vast open spaces in which to ponder Creation,
moving steadily beyond pain and regret
into wonder at the plenitude of the Cosmos.
The past is dead but I am alive
and growing until I die,
empowering perspectives between present and past
now held more firmly within conceptual grasp.