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JOHN ALLISON


Nocturnes


Vägen,
du skall följa den


            (Dag Hammarskjöld)

1
Roads, knocking on this dark
immensity of your back
door. Forgotten paths, all

that is forgotten, summoning.
And you were standing
at a window, near and far

sighted, knowing that travel
is work, and is suffering.
Listen. You hear whitened

knuckles at the door, rapping
at your memory, fingers
wanting fervidly to travel you.

2.
There is that time we use
and then there is
the time we never know ...

In this time some other life
is lived. You stand
at the window, watching

for the signs. A ship's light
flickers as the geese,
migrating, leave their script

upon the granite clouds.
You want to read
these auguries. But tonight

all the runes are scattered
by the Arctic wind ...
And time will take its own.

3.
You are at your window,
remembering a path
between the forest trees.

Now that other journey
reaches out to you,
a wind between the stars.

Listen. There it is again,
at your door, filling
your porch with departure.