Wade Kearley

—on the road to mount abu
for Katherine
Overhead a skein of large-winged geese 
plummet from high clouds. They honk gently, 
slide into their reflection on Lake Nakki. 

As shadows cool, I inhale the orchid
evening and reminisce. Your hair tumbled 
in grey curls around my face. We kissed.

You left me at the terminal clutching 
my suitcase on the pavement. We never 
really said goodbye. Now, on the other side

of the planet, 
     other side of a year, I search 
your last gestures in memory, rewind 
your last words for a sign. Was I asleep? 

I realize the geese are all around me. 
They lift white heads, turn dark eyes
towards me and flock to their feet. I freeze,

anxious not to disturb them, and repeat 
a chant I learned in Udaipur: 
Om mani padme hum. The geese

trill softly and push into the lake. 
Moments later they are airborne. I am complete 
and retrace my steps along the pathway back.

Wade Kearley's Narrow Cradle (Breakwater Books, 2020) launches today, in the quiet style of these COVID-19 times. Wade is the author of seven books, including the poetry collections Drawing on Water and Let Me Burn like This, and the travel books The People’s Road and The People’s Road Revisited, based on his 900-kilometer trek along Newfoundland’s abandoned rail line. He lives in St. John’s, NL.