It has been unexpectedly painful being back in the USA. But it wasn’t until today that I really understood why. I was comparing myself to a former version of myself. And I really liked that woman. She was precocious, business savvy, competent from success, and more socially acceptable. She was in newspapers often. And was once cited next to Storm Large talking about her pubic hair grooming habits. (Yes, and she was more socially acceptable than me. The irony.)
But she died here. Years ago. And I forgot to bury her.
The grief this trip, has been overwhelming.
I made a grave for her today
on Sauvies island with twigs and a feather.
Blue herons flew unperturbed overhead.
Ants continued their work.
And a snake rustled the foliage of a nearby bush.
I was the only thing that had gotten confused by the past.
Finally, I understood.
So I took the old skin I had been carrying,
like a security blanket,
and let it go.