The Near Horizon

Your new life will look just like the old,
at first. You won't be able to tell
the difference. The old despairs will be back,
and you will think, I've been here before.
You will drive, heart sore, through
a winter day, another winter day, raw, cloudy.
You will follow a river that flows this day
between icebound banks. A metaphor?
You will wonder, then let it go. The river
is itself, a testament to the weather, the freeze
and thaw, the flow of water over a rocky
riverbed. This is not a sign of your life.
Your life is its own. You see sunset in
the rear view mirror and check the side mirrors.
The images form a cross around you, the real
sunset filling the back window. You'd like
to rest awhile in that soft salmon dusk, but
your life, your life. I wish I could tell you what
the new life looks like. You might see signs
that say, Pilgrim Springs, or The Mainstay
Motor Lodge. Quaint, but again, no real clue.
You might see a hawk circling high and notice
how the small birds roost quietly among
the tree branches. You could see the hawk stoop,
a sudden disappearance down behind the trees
of the near horizon. For a moment you are thankful
for the sight, the stoop, even the disappearing.
Carry that, not as a clue, but as
the hawk disappearing into its own life, 
into whatever happens beyond the trees.

Published in The Madison Review