Return from Georgia
Bruce McEver

Leaving out in a rain storm
watering the parched red soil,
our plane climbs toward the sun.
Commuting weekly south
I have watched spring eke
from bud to full leaf.

Sun spotlights my tray table,
and a shuffle of papers where
I sometimes hide.
As we near New York,
day’s end is a ball dropping into a layer
of clouds beyond Trenton.

After these years, coming back
to some temporary apartment,
always in transit from this place
to that, it was not until her rejection
that I realized this isn’t home.

The great heft of the city’s spired grid,
is squared, with streams of red traffic west,
and white lights east, where a massive reef
of apartments define the edge
of the East River with her place
across from Roosevelt Island.
It’s there the bridges span the fork
of the five waters gathering
under the Tri-borough Bridge—
a turbulent and dirty confluence.

I did not see it coming,
did not know until now,
returning from where I grew up:
The silver river snakes 
into the tidal lands of Jersey
and the bulk of Staten Island
looms while Lady Liberty
illuminates on her pedestal,
torch over the harbor
welcoming me,
a migrant, home.

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