Tall Order Burning Starlight into Narrow

Alone in yellow bird sunlight
the sea curls around my hips
as we dance through ghosts.

In the silver shadow tipped waves
I see visions of a much younger me,
hungry for life beyond corn fields,
but chained to dirt road poverty
that feared the world beyond gravel.

Funny and bold, miserable and hopeful,
I walked the muscle memory of ancestors
who didn’t trust anything beyond 
the length of a day nor dream higher
than their arms could reach.

Impatient dandelion in stoic I gambled
on a carnival horizon where rhyme and reason
didn’t have to make sense nor questions
keep me immobile when my spirit said run.

On the long way to wherever the highway
became my gin and tonic.
Happy to feed imagination everything
from tiny seeds of roadside picnics
to city frames of glass and steel I discovered
lovely could be wisteria growing wild on a picket fence
or the smile of a stranger passing me on a sidewalk…

Like a magician pulling me out of a trance
a seagull calls from the blue above me.
I speak goodbye to ghosts, slip back
into my aged skin, look out across the waves
and consider there’s still a lot of dreams
in me before my sun sets. 

©Susie Clevenger 2022


JadeLi said…
I like your use of the color yellow here, Susie, which feels like a symbol of fear. I like the journey the traveler takes as her horizons expand and her fear dissipates.
Fireblossom said…
I have no doubt at all that there are, Susie. Your spirit is too bright for any bushel. I really like the flashback and the slipping back into aged skin. I swear, when i dream or even daydream, I'm no age, and certainly not my actual age, and it can be kind of s surprise to find myself inhabiting this body, which can't do what it used to do. But I'm here, and your poem is like a reminder, the best may well be yet to come come. I've certainly been surprised by joy before.
qbit said…
I love the opening lines! So good!
Carrie Burtt said…
This poem is pure magic of soul, heart and memory Susie! It spoke to me deeply and I love every gorgeous line!
Sherry Blue Sky said…
I loved making this journey with you through your beautiful poem. Your spirit is unstoppable, Susie. I love the closing lines so much - "there's still a lot of dreams in me before my sun sets." I am living proof dreams can come true even in our older years. And you are living proof that true love can last a lifetime, a dream of mine that escaped me this lifetime.
Helen said…
Your poem is beyond inspirational ... for every age range. A must read. I agree with Shay, your light is too bright to ever dim.
hedgewitch said…
There is a youth inside us which if we are lucky enough to value, we never outgrow. May our dreams keep us afloat, Susie. Your story sings from beginning to end here, and the ghosts which wash around us in that silver-tipped sea, surely they just come to keep us company with memory. If we have made the right memories, that is. Lovely as wisteria on a picket fence.
Sunra Rainz said…
Such a heartwarming poem, Susie. I love all the longing and harking back, the wisdom and appreciation of a life well-lived and looking onward to more adventures yet :-)
Thomas Post said…
This is such a wild and familiar ride into the sunset, thanks for bringing us along.