for Loopy

Last week I was on all fours like a cat, creeping
down the hall toward the dorm mother’s room,
a small shaft of light under the door.

Nestled in a tube instead of the riverbed of me,
I could not pour you a form or a future.
The surgeon said you’d lost your way.

Standing at the edge of the roar-vast lake,
I listen as the waves thump to the shore.
You are gone. This day, only half-eaten,
I find my way back past the North Shore Hotel,

catch sight of a ladies’ luncheon scattered
in coffee cups, pools of ice cream melted
by the warmth of painted chatter. Distracted

by the hammering of a construction drill
and my own silence, I turn toward school,
knowing I am moving away from a distance
that cannot be traveled.

Published Whistling Girls and Cackling Hens, Sandra Larson, Pudding House Chapbook Series, 2003