Coming Back
Patricia Wixon

Repetition builds a past as if part of you began here,
as if where you’ve come back to is where you’re from.

Familiar sounds like what you heard again yesterday
or a single sound that woke you fifty years ago—

a door opening to let in a voice, an urgent whisper,
a quick intake of breath, then quiet.

Just a door, the creak of a metal knob jiggled
against a screw working its way out

that woke you then, and now—when you’re awakened
by that sound—you stay alert:

what you hear next may tell of someone’s life,
not necessarily another message about death.



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