GOING HOME THE LONGEST WAY AROUND
we tell stories, build
from fragments of our lives
maps to guide us to each other.
We make collages of the way
it might have been
had it been as we remembered,
as we think perhaps it was,
tallying in our middle age
Last night the lake was still;
all along the shoreline
bright pencil marks of light, and
children in the dark canoe pleading
"Tell us scary stories."
Fingers trailing in the water,
I said someone I loved who died
told me in a dream
to not be lonely, told me
not to ever be afraid.
And they were silent, the children,
listening to the water
lick the sides of the canoe.
It's what we love the most
can make us most afraid, can make us
for the first time understand
how we are rocking in a dark boat on the water,
taking the long way home.
~ Pat Schneider
Another River: New and Selected Poems
Amherst Writers & Artists Press
Pat's New Book From Oxford
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Listen to Pat’s Poems and one by Peter on Writer’s Almanac
Pat’s poems have been read sixteen times by Garrison Keillor on
Click on the dates to hear Keillor read each:
Sound of the Night Train
Sep. 26, 2009
I Was Mean to You Today
Jan. 4, 2010
How the Stars Came Down
Sep. 20, 2010
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Pat's poem, Barry Moser's illustration. Proceeds to AWA outreach. For the text of the poem, click
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Copyright © 2010-11 Pat Schneider