After that curious illness no doctor could name,
I had to learn to walk again,
A shuffle really, my gait so slow
I thought maybe I was walking posthumously
And this time alone was my penance and my reward.
That stagger trance was unrelenting and uplifting.
A time of sadness and modest revelation.
My coming and going woven
Into one long single breath.
I found this memory of being on an island
where all grief is treated the same way.
By eating wild bitter herbs
Found walking between one ridgeline and another.
I sat on a beach where a woman roasted
Limpets, periwinkles and black crabs over coals.
When she served up the sea,
She wrapped it in a bed of blue chicory flowers,
Then opened my hands to receive it.
She said I needed to walk more
Or I would not be greeted warmly in the village.
She said the dead know very little
And the living know even less about what makes a meal.