by Margaret Gibson

Why do I take the back way,
along the sheep trod,
through salt wind and last
light, resisting
the tower and the standing cross
thrust darkly against
the azure evening sky
as it deepens and deepens
into illumined ink,
the well into which the monks
dipped their quills—
finding my way
by wandering the rim of far hills,
trusting the wind in my face
and the brief path
body makes into the wind,
moving ahead, or away from,
or toward, and never
arriving, unable to rest,
as if rest would deliver me from
mute inquiry
and the mission of solitude.
There the abbey is—a beckoning
quiet, a light
I keep circling and circling,
grasped by what I cannot grasp,
drawn inside
only by staying out,
rapt and roaming, at the margins
listening to the sea's dark breath,
how it ruptures
and heals, eddies
and is, the road behind me
dissolving in the dark.

Last updated November 03, 2022