You Alone

by Laura Baudo


Surely you have felt it— the need to soar
into solitude. Sometimes just considering
silence is enough to distance you from
the clatter of the day. This is why you are
drawn to eagles, herons and all the ones
who mark their territory from within
circumscribing both need and right.

Thinking in herons, you could say it’s the alone
of being near the sea, but without the cliché
of walking close to the surf all blue-ankled
and blue. It’s the alone where every comfort
is allowed, even a sturdy chair that reclines
without complaint, even a simple blue umbrella
you are able to secure and unfurl by yourself.

Or it’s near a lake. Maybe the dock has a bench
and the bench has a cushion and the nearest
house is empty this week, but you know
the quiet neighbors in that old bungalow
on the next cove are in for the night– just in case.
There are, of course, loons.

It doesn’t matter where as long as there is no
fear to stop you from claiming your right to be
singular, freeing yourself from the contract
you signed in return for some of the ordinary.

Your need is as unexceptional as the owl’s desire
for evening and as necessary as preserving
the condor. It is giving a fallen wren the moment
of your hand, lifting it to safety where in stillness
it may recover– and the next moment of checking
to be certain it has flown.

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