“…to unpath’d waters, undream’d shores.”
A Winter’s Tale, Act 4, Scene 4


Frost warning, so into their beds
tuck the lettuce and spinach. Feel the cold
through the legs of our jeans.

We are leaving. We won’t get to taste
this growth but it must be protected,
we planted it, we must give it a chance.

Where are we headed? Lettuce, spinach,
we don’t know the least of it.
Even the weeds are luminous

under the Globe Theatre of the moon.
The stars are as unreadable as ever,
but I’d say they are auspicious. I’d say

for the moment we are all safe, (no,
that’s impossible) (yes, but just now it feels
that way, everyone has called,

everyone’s accounted for).
Then the apparition of white cows, mud
over their spectral flanks, a goodbye party

from another townland
that makes us laugh. Startled
when they see us, they continue

down the peninsula. Where
are we headed? To the unpathed,
to the undreamed, to the benedictions

of water and shore. Come inside
and sleep before the journey. The garden—
we must leave it behind—is all tucked in.

Photo by Oregon State University, used and adapted under CC.