I am an initiate
starting, but not familiar yet.
In the autumn it was “Hello, we haven’t met,”
but they welcomed me in, fellow Mama, camp Mama.
I floundered and wondered at their conversations
and wished I had history to make a translation, but
I am the initiate.
At Christmas it was “White Elephant” and I laughed
happily until my gift was different and
I laughed bitterly and I knew
I was still the initiate.
In May they said Happy Mother’s Day and I asked
What should I pack? What will I want for a summer at camp?
Then we were traveling
and on gravel roads, I slid and slipped
I still felt like an initiate.
The sun was rising somewhere but the fog kissed my fingertips
beauty comes at me in catched breaths and gasps.
Pine trees hold raindrops in sunshine and glisten
when my footsteps echo the birds stop to listen
I recognize home lights of housing like beacons
the air herself bends around me to receive.
Initiate, maybe, but not uninvited.