More Miles

At worship this morning at 7,
Nancy asked us for one word to describe how we were
others had more words to share,
I simply said, "Tired,"
because I could hardly walk to the toilet last night
my knees were aching so,
much less to bend to brush my teeth at dawn.
Patty reached to touch my arm
and I'm certain Marian nodded.
"Tired" seemed the right word at worship this morning.

after everyone had gone
and I was left with a lovely empty nest
to fill with Ivory Liquid tasks and poetry,
I wondered -
What if "tired" was another word for "sad."

For, dear ones,
this A-student has already begun her grieving
for in this leaving are all the other leavings,
all the other bus loads of beloveds.

The first bus was a Bedford truck
"from London to Cape Town" the brochure read;
I signed on with 14 others
plus the driver and the red-haired mechanic.

We called the truck "Herbie,"
and Herbie broke down on the edge of the Ituri forest in
I wept to leave that glorious movable feast.

The next bus took me from Assisi in Italy
to Helsingborg in Sweden;
that bus was full of Swedish persons
like yourselves,
full of Protestant energy and dedication; I was desolate when it was time to say good-bye and
board a train to Kalmar.

this unexpected trip tp Rio
another bus,
another leaving,
more miles.

Rio de Janeiro, 1992
Hope Publishing House
PO Box 60008
Pasadena, CA 91116

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