Friday, October 18, 2013

Melancholy

By Kathryn Stripling Byer

My daughter says she’s become “melancholy,”
a word she likes the sound of better than sad.
A backwater rhythm,
like the river that still runs alongside
her long summer back home among names
she’s grown out of.  She would rather be nameless
than shackled to those ancient consonants,
each mournful vowel,
unscrolling down to the name
that encloses us finally,
much as the earth itself
finally enfolds us.
My daughter knows words,
 how they pull at the line like a boot
or a rainbow trout.  Like the melancholy
exhale of home.  The sag of it.  The shoulders
that feel  its remorse and its longing.
Come home,
come home,
I can’t stop myself saying,
calling long distance,
sending her name across cyberspace.

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