Return to Nantucket
The white island appears in front of my eyes,
a tiny point at first,
misty in the midst of my dreams.
The ocean is so huge around, my memories so gone,
that only the roaring of the ferry-boat
makes me feel it might be real.
I am reversing the literary statement,
for instead of following the call of the water
I am after this strip of land.
I had to fly over three thousand miles
and leave behind mimetic crowds of tourists
in the Mediterranean towns and beaches of my land.
I came to listen for the cracks of timbers
while climbing up steep stairs in old gable-roofed houses;
for I was tired of stones and bricks, came
to enjoy naive wooden church pilasters
meant as an imitation of our ancient past.
I came to spot grey cedar shingles and trellis,
while riding down the paths of story-tellers;
for, truly, I was longing to breathe the scent of distant grass.
Carmen O. Menéndez
Poem, copyright © 2005 by Carmen O. Menéndez
Appearing on From the Fishouse with permission
Audio file, copyright © 2005, From the Fishouse