There were no hills on the island where I grew up.

The trees were tall and closed one in.

To dream, we went down to the bay, and stared

at the slight curve of the earth on the far horizon

as the sailboats moved freely through the water.


When my friend returned one year I did not know

that she was going to die three years later.

She was my oldest friend and we went for a walk

from my house down the street to where her house

once had been, but now was torn down.


At the end of the street was the water

and we found ourselves by the healing poultice

of the mud flats near the bay’s edge.

When one of us as kids was upset, we’d meet there,

jumping between the cracks, only to miss


and fall into the squelch of warm mud,

laughing with a great inner freedom

our bodies happy from top to bottom,

inside and out, sheer, complete happiness

never recovered in our serpentine adult years.


She’d had a horse back then, and I had been jealous.

My family didn’t have money for much of anything.

But I had the grades, all A’s, and the ambition,

knowing that would be my ticket out,

and it was, even more so after my father died.


So we found ourselves there: she, with little time,

and me, finding soon there would be

no one left to tell my stories to

after all my wild travels around the world.

It was our last dream together.