Whidbey Island

Poetry / Robin Cedar

After years of uncertainty,
there is, at least, certainty of location.

After years of never knowing where
                we might settle,
there’s something about this ordinary—

                birds on the ferry & sprawling highway
                running & rising to meet us from the north

—that soothes this seclusion.

The ferry churns water & docks.
We drive from the wake.

The house offers its quiet & its mercy
                as the air melts our eyes with sea-spray.

It’s a rental, old & frayed
& Mom has already started drilling holes in the wall.

She’s filling it with lost sounds:
                framed pictures of her children laughing,
                foreign places bustling with footsteps,
                Impressionist paintings of chattering cafés.

& there’s the sight
of the ferry floating to Port Townsend to consider

or
the sight
                of Mom leaning against the kitchen counter
& sobbing
because despite her best efforts

this is not home.

Robin Cedar is a current MFA candidate at Oregon State University, where she is studying poetry and teaching English composition. She is originally from Whidbey Island in Washington, where she has been deeply influenced by the natural world and family. Her work has appeared before in Lumen magazine.