- for my brother, Forrest MicaJon Dykes
You didn’t tell me
we would have to climb
in before we could climb up.
I watched you scramble down,
a lizard on mossy rock,
and I forgot my inexperience,
how slick it was,
how late. Waterfalls
trickled down temporary paths,
our shoes squished through mud
and dying leaves on the way to the climbing site.
I joked, this must be why your wife left you.
You laughed easily,
time having worn down the sharp edges,
your hands busy finding holds
and fingering rope,
booming voice urging
hold on, reach, let go.
I’m not sure now
what made me fall.
But there I was, sprawled
across a flat rock,
mosquitoes moving in slow motion,
my arm suddenly taking a different shape.
Dislocated you said, and I held
it out for you, said fix itand turned away as you did
in one quick motion,
no hesitation, dislocation
a feeling you know
one never gets all the way used to,
the pop of bones settling back into place
reassuring but effortless
compared to the uncertain trail ahead,
the climb out of the canyon, the way
bad things happen
but the only thing to do
is keep going.
- Irene Latham
It's no mystery why I selected this poem to share today as I've been feeling a bit dislocated myself lately. I think anytime one is faced with life/death situations, it is a time for re-evaluation. And that, of course, leads to dislocation.
It helps to know that dislocation doesn't usually last... we do eventually find our way again. Just a couple of years after I wrote this poem I watched my brother fall in love, get remarried and become a father to two more gorgeous children.
I know my bones will eventually pop back into place. And once they have, I'll forget again what it's like to be here. Which is why it's important to write our way through the difficult times in life. So there's a record, and we can always remember the journey.
"One of the luckiest things that can happen to you in life is, I think, to have a happy childhood."
- Agatha Christie