LOST LANGUAGE by Charlene Moskal


I have mislaid territories that are no longer mine, not now, not this time around.

They are in me under a surface of lives, disturbing like vapors of dreams

outside the grasp of wakening. I try to find truths in layered mirrors.

I hear it, an insistent beat, mocking my heart,

somewhere out there familiar and alive

The plains here or there sweeping flat or almost flat, vistas of yellow grasses

undulate, streams hide in copses of trees whose names I have forgotten,

silver-backed fish burst air bubbles on the surface without sound.

And still it penetrates beyond reason,

beating slowly, beckoning familiar and alive

Nature is too large for me – I have no words for something I must say even if

I no longer speak the language. I see the ancestors, throngs of ghosts pass,

They carry generations, walk silent in open fields. They wave to me.

The whispers of ancient voices repeat work songs

in my hollows, beats still familiar and alive.