Like butter, gone. I’m moving on, because it would be ludicrous to stay. It feels like a return (to sanity), although I’ve never been. (I’ve never lived a mile west of Illinois.) “I come home from the soaring,” Rilke wrote in The Inner Sky, which I take as imperative (omit the “I”): to ground, return to Earth, to grind the fable of my life down like orpiment into a yellow ash and tie my body to the floor. Rilke writes of God (“still roaring in my ears”) but God, for me (today) is fear. Goodbye to my deteriorating house. Delirium. I’m out the door. Stasis is a sieve through which I drag myself.
Literature feels / far away. Black bulls grazing / beyond a pale hill.
Copyright © 2023 by Jane Huffman. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 30, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.
“This is one poem in a series of modified haibun, a Japanese poetic form originated by the seventeenth-century poet Matsuo Bashō and practiced by generations of poets to follow, to whom I owe thanks. The haibun is traditionally a travelogue poem that combines prose and haiku; my version transverses the inner and outer landscapes.”