Wanderer

O long-awaited, are you nearly here?
Is that your shadow I see from the window,
beginning to cross the field?

Everywhere I look, there are emblems
from all the years of laboring: nettles
that stung my hands, fronds of palm

braided close to patch the holes
in the roof. Here are shirts
with sleeves of linen to throw

on the shapes of the banished
as they fly under cover of night,
so they too might break free

of their long enchantment. Here
are grains spilled on muddy ground,
where they still shine like pearls

in moonlight: each one now,
accounted for. I read tonight
that certain moths drink the tears

of sleeping birds, turning sorrow
into sustenance
. O long awaited,
I have never left, I am still here.

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