I have been away

I have been away
and have only now come back
and only then in part
as a result of having left
or lost some of what I took with me.

Perhaps left and lost.
Illness will do that,
but so will memories unmade.

Not the idea
provoked by a particular place
that if you had lived there or stayed there
life would have been different,
but the idea that the memories unmade
(by not having made that choice)
would have sat better in your head
now you find yourself alone with them
(or without them).

As if Thoreau had left when instead he stayed,
but then Thoreau was born in Concord
and died there also and his last words were
Now comes good sailing” followed, separately,
by “moose
and “Indian”.

Apparently, when he knew he was dying
-at just forty-four-
and had but little time left
an aunt asked him if he’d made his peace with God.
He responded
I did not know we had quarreled…

Previous to this he had also mentioned:
Men have become the tools of their tools
which seems more true than ever
as things that are almost wholly true
will often turn out to be
despite where it is you might find yourself.

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