February 24, 2013

Christine Poreba

BETWEEN MISSING AND FOUND

We thought we knew, all week,
what was out our hotel window:
one faraway slope, buildings
piled close, wind from another
coast. It was plenty.

To think, all that while, the glistening
point of Mt. Hood rose behind
the fog, silent as light.

Seeing its pale silk appear
out our window at sunrise
on this last morning,
I think of a large poster
I once drove by, taped over a small
picture of a cat with the heading lost.
The poster shouted WE FOUND HIM!

The joy of those capital letters
floated through me the way
this mountain appearing makes
something also like joy course
through me.

I think of when my husband
told me a car had flown through
a stop sign straight across his path,
and if he’d been half-a-second slower
in braking, he might not have made it.
He’d been saved before I knew
I might have come close to losing him.

And how once I lost my grandmother’s
star-of-sapphire ring, then found it
at the bottom of a small pitcher
of pencils, but kept looking for it
afterwards, without meaning to,
kept remembering its star
as something gone.

Through habit we drift suspended
somewhere between being lost
and being found.

Like that young husky the color
of Mt. Hood’s snow-capped peak
who landed outside my fence after
he dug out from his own. Together
we walked; I searched for any signs
of an owner looking for what he’d lost
as the dog bounded ahead, in pure whiteness,
toward whatever it was that came next.

from Rattle #37, Summer 2012