Going There

we will cross where the border is porous
where deals are unmade and papers transparent
we will cross where everyone can see us
without suspect or hurry we’ll make it
to the other side — we’ll seek a place
of some safety where origins are of less concern
than the craft of what we can offer
we’ll pretend the guards are friendly
and make our way uncertain yet surefooted
we’ll spell home for them in several languages
we’ll observe all of the necessary gods
the prayer wheels and beads we always carry
we’ll turn into the wind and leave no scent
we’ll take it all with us and hope
there is room when we get there
we’ll cross before darkness can hide us
and no one can find us if the border disappears

Colleen J. McElroy, former editor of the Seattle Review and professor emeritus at the University of Washington, has published over fifteen books. Her most recent poetry collection, Sleeping with the Moon, received a PEN Oakland Literary Award.