Because Naomi could remember when sparrows
fell from dying trees and lay on the ground,
swollen tongues forever splitting beaks wide,
could remember the hunger that carved
the belly, made bone manifest through skin,
she listened to the wind blow from that old land.
She saw the gleaming promise that lay towards
the setting sun. And when she buried her heart once,
twice, three times, when her tongue grew bitter
from thirst and then grief, she imagined return.
Imagined the aching loneliness of being a stranger
again. As she walked towards the lifeless sea,
another filled her footsteps in the sand behind,
a consolation. Salt burned her eyes; at her back,
the wind erased all that was once home.
Adrienne Pilon is a writer, editor, and teacher. Recent work appears in The Linden Review, The Dirty Spoon, Uppagus, and elsewhere. She is on staff at BoomerLitMag and Kitchen Table Quarterly.