not sharp or brutal
but tender
and yielding to the weight
of my bare feet
on this thin layer of soil
that hugs the Donegal coast.
I grasp a clump of green shoots
in my fist:
does that make it mine
or does it belong
to a middle-aged man
with a piece of paper
in London?
I pluck fuchsia and rhododendron
that grow thick and wild
and perfume glides through my kitchen
spreading itself thinner and thinner
over the scent of boiling potatoes.
I dig in my root garden
glance at a sky bruised with purple longing.
This island is too small, I think,
its energy
a tremendous hawk
beating rapid wings
in a storm
turns mean
when it has no place to light.
Set back from a craggy coast
in a warm California valley
two rivers merge
without roar of triumph
without pathetic yelp of subordination
but with a steady rush
a joyful tumble.
Even frustrated whirlpools
find release in concentric circles
rippling the surface.
Water laps against the river bank
in ambitious efforts to expand
and there is room
for the delta
to spread forceful fingers
like the blue gray feathers
of a heron’s wings
stretching in graceful ascent.
Here the clawed feet of my apricot tree
gently grip the moist knuckles
of the flood plain
and orange blossoms
their waxy petals
impervious to early spring rains
survive to bestow a heady scent
on April mornings
splashing on my eyelids and cheeks
like tears
not hot with anger
but cool like the Sacramento River
swelling with melted snow. 
Photo by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash

4 thoughts on “Immigrant

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.