Unintentional Provinces

by Kathryn Rantala

After traveling all morning
we know precisely where we are,
we are here.
Where are we?
We are almost here
and too soon to know it.
And where, when we were born
in little layered envelopes and bright lights,
in a place not unlike this
but not in the least familiar,
where did we intend to be?
It was here, perhaps, but unlikely.
The warping blur beyond the window,
the interrupted horizon
rising and falling to keep up,
the buffeted veins of rain clinging to the glass
their last fingerhold slipping

We are hurtling,
pressed and folded in two suitcases.
We are hurrying,
paying the intercity charge and buying wine.
We are sliding unimaginably fast
on frictions designed for us
and oblivious to who we are.
Into and away and from.
Homeland or heartland,
an unintentional province
bisected and connected and intermittently
crossed by trains.

©2001 by Kathryn Rantala

The founder and co-editor of Snow Monkey magazine, Kathyrn Rantala has recent work in (or upcoming) in 3rd Bed, Tatlin's Tower, Spinning Jenny, La Petite Zine, Niederngasse, Pig Iron Malt, elimae, Notre Dame Review and others.

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