THE SHELTER BELT

THE SHELTER BELT

You enter the physical world, Mom and Dad,
through two separate drainages
which meaner down and meet at the river.
Together you float into my dreams and
in the darkness of my bedroom, I separate you two,
pushing you into the shadows I have created and
through a pool of tears I reach for you
and you refuse my touch stepping back into the darkness.
Or perhaps it is I who is lurking in the shadows
and I refuse your touch.
I do not know. It does not matter.
I want to meet both of you
on the east side of the shelterbelt
where the river bends to face the sun.
For both of your grandparents
and both of my grandparents will be there.
And they are scouring the primitive grasslands
and slow moving rivers
in search of materials to build a tar paper shack.
For a great winter storm is coming from the northwest.
Its cold frigid wind will blow across the barren wheat fields
collecting power and strength as it consumes and devours
bits of dirt and snow which lie in its path
holding it tightly in its arm, refusing to yield.
But in time it will hit row after row of caracanda
and the thorn of the Russian olive,
losing its power, losing its strength,
it weakens, dropping its heavy load and
discarding its excess weight in grungy dirty
snow banks which move with gentle graceful
flowing lines, scattered amongst the trees.
I will go to the shelter that the old ones built and
sit patiently at a wooden table lit by a small kerosene lamp.
Your son, hair of gray, body of arthritis,
a child, now a man, he longs to be judged by you.
But you must come too . both of you . and sit at the table with me
and let your creation look at his reflection in your eyes,
all under the warm gentle glowing light of the lamp.

Gary Horinek