After all, they are ridiculous
A weigh-station, a border control office
without guards. They slink in
with gnawing and noises
deep in the floor wood.
Not hunting for food, they rush through
on their own time-tables.
A family or a solo one, it is hard to tell
when the noises shuffle through
the hours of our time
confined to the near air of our home,
away from the broadness of the weather,
a few feet from the closed back door.
We are anxious and glazed-over,
famished for human touch and bewildered
by the new shake of smoke outside,
the helicopters overhead circling
the canyon in search of fire. We hear sleep
and fear the time that we are learning to endure
with growing complacency. The logistics of making do
with an earnest belief in living, still. They arrive
at 5 pm or with the orange rise of scheduled dawn.
As we are sitting up in bed, surrounded by
folded pillows, they crinkle paper below
the box spring and charge ahead for
where the doorways meet the
wall on the other side. We throw bottles
to the floor and swear at each other
that this is not right. But it is endurable,
and then we are charmed, and sit back,
feeling closely akin and locked into the
nearly god-loving sense of their wandering,
of being busy and wanting to feel comforted,
even if just for a fleeting moment; the desire
to belong temporarily even somewhere.
Millicent Borges Accardi, a Portuguese-American writer, is the author of two poetry books, most recently Only More So (Salmon Poetry). Her awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Fulbright, CantoMundo, Creative Capacity, the California Arts Council, The Corporation of Yaddo, Fundação Luso-Americana, and Barbara Deming Foundation.
She’s led poetry workshops at Keystone College, Nimrod Writers Conference, The Muse in Norfolk, Virginia, and University of Texas, Austin. Her non-fiction can be found in The Writers Chronicle, Poets Quarterly, and the Portuguese American Journal.