You said to me once, “I love the silence when
you get where you want to go and turn
the motor off,” and it’s true, the car breathing
a little, deep in your ear ghost voices echo,
then nothing. Just sit there a moment.
I knew what you meant, like getting
to our summer place in the Berkshires,
the car whining asthmatically up our hill,
windows open, then the smell of fresh
grass a neighbor cut, no sound at all.
The last time I visited you weren’t home
yet. I walked down the street, then
back, and saw you pull into the driveway,
get out, and stop to look at crocuses,
or daffodils, just breaking through
the spring soil. I thought that must be
where you wanted to go, the peace widening
to include me in the middle of the block,
enveloping me in its silky stillness.
Even now when I don’t know where
I’m going, and wake late at night in a kind
of fierce panic, I feel that pure calm
sometimes, the motor’s steady purpose,
the ultimate quiet when it stops, and think
of Irv MacKenzie mowing in big circles,
finishing up. I see you bending down to look
as you wait for me, the yard coming
alive with small buds and shoots.