The Past by the Present Tolls

This morning at my hotel on Jeju Island, I
received a wake-up call, even though I didn’t request one.

It is odder, nowadays, to be awakened from a dead sleep,
the older I get, these yanking phone calls

in the middle of the night, pounding my heart
pick-ups of receivers – I do think of phones this way –

leaping to all kinds of immediate speculation
about what may have happened to family, to friends.

All the years, months, days, hours, minutes, seconds,
I think that I pass them by, they not I,

and as they die away, as do all, as all will,
I ask why I think that I might find them again, how

as they were, as I take me now in them, from them,
even as I grasp at, search memory to a boney, brittle, splintered core,

taking hold in part of ancestral homes, culture, bits and pieces,
grasping for them like a gold ring

running roundly by my progenitors, outstretched hands
pulling, leading me here and there across the globe,

all in some sense recalled just hazily in the emotional stir today,
in this fading Land of the Morning Calm,

so I am called by foreign voices, confused
and uncomprehending, distanced me as I awaken,

still before one more sunrise gone,
wave away at the moon and darkness down.

* * * * *

Today’s word is

ancestral

You know the drill. Post whatever you write as a comment below. I would love to read it : )

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