I travel east into the Cascades
to a small town my parents
came to as newlyweds,
follow double yellow lines,
the road too treacherous for passing,
search for a small cabin
where I was conceived. More gold
than yellow, the center lines
mimic the hue of autumn tamarack
released of its evergreen pretensions.
The tamaracks flare
above a scud of clouds
draped over the valley,
toward snow-topped peaks.
Carried out of these mountains
curled like a leaf
in my mother’s womb
I unfurled in a different place.
Return is like seeing the negative
from a long time ago;
a bright image that remains
for an instant
after you close your eyes.
First appeared in Floating Bridge Review, 2010. Appears in Night Beyond Black, 2016, MoonPath Press.