By Julia Klimek
I stand in the evening wind
Just outside my barn,
On four boards facing west
By rose bushes piled high, almost in bloom,
Next to the sink propped on driftwood
Dragged up from Otis Perkins Beach.
The sun just slipped over
The fir-tipped hills out by Channel Road
And the slim shadow line of San Juan Island
And, beyond that, Canada (I’ve been).
I consider the possibility:
Were the roads of Chaco Canyon landing strips for UFOs?
In the chilly evening wind
I concede: water on Mars;
The unlikelihood of humanity’s development: from fish, you say?
Black holes swallowing galaxies;
Definitely not: a benevolent god out there (or gods).
But: the sheer size of things unseen.
My feet stand still on these four boards.
My son helped put them down
One sunny day last summer;
I took pictures
Of him, and of our friends,
By the barn, the sink, the roses,
His hair dark and his face burned by the sun.
And now my hands are cold in the evening wind
And the sky is turning from that bright final orange
To a smooth blue.
And I try to make room
For possibilities remote
From these four boards on which
I stand and see,
Planets and other suns and some vast darkness
Which could be troubling:
Beyond what are we looking here?
I stand on these four boards
In the chill of the evening wind
Next to the roses, almost in bloom.
The sky, now smooth as cold water, presents
Those bright cold stars.
And I am far below,
Suddenly engaged in the possibility of travel.
Julia Klimek spends summers on the old McLeod farm on Lopez Island. The rest of the year she lives in a small town in South Carolina, where she teaches English at a college.
All work by Julia Klimek