After the soporific of red wine and potato chips,
I drifted off over the Great Plains at midnight,
the cabin darkened, my heart and the heartland lit.
Now the sky is reddening in the east, and
in the west lights are clumped like islands
glimmering through velum.
On that solo adventure four decades ago,
I wandered from the foot of the Acroplolis to Delphi
and Santorini, knapsack on my back, channeling light.
Returning home a prodigal wanderer, I never stopped.
Sometimes at high altitudes, I still find shards
of former selves, a polished stone, a sun-bleached shell.
Leah Stenson is a published poet, workshop leader, Board Member of Friends of William Stafford, and coordinator and host of the prestigious Stonehenge Studios reading series in Portland. She is also an editor of the upcoming Ooligan Press anthology The Pacific Poetry Project. Her new chapbook, Heavenly Body, is forthcoming in August 2011 from Finishing Line Press. Publications include Oregon Literary Review, Northwest Women’s Journal, The Oregonian, and San Diego Poetry Annual.