Out in a coastal farmhouse
at the end of a dirt track
among prickly pears
behind peeling green painted shutters
in a shaded cellar
lies a large chest.
Something a pirate might have brought back
from an ill-omened voyage.
It requires to be acknowledged
and will not harm anyone
but touch it and trouble will follow
ignore it and you'll die.
We live an existence of presences
all alive, yet not the kind to engage in active conversation.
Walk the vegetable patch at night
and, if anything, you are commanded to listen.
Your instructions: to take a vow, and buy new shoes. Then walk.
Somewhere, this wanderer has a home,
a roof held up by two persons
a box for his remains, and
a footprint matching his own among the olive trees.
He'll make it back
kiss the grave of his fathers
familiar like the alkaline soil
and different like an Arian in Provence.
The sun and the smell of mimosa will do the rest.