The tortoise had been, back then, the emblem of what
we’d always been told: Take your home with you,
she said, wherever you go. And that’s what we did—
what we had to do—back then when everything
disassembled, our belongings scattered in the yard.
We gathered, you remember. But that was elsewhere
and long ago. Now you’re packing and moving on
to the Midwest, a thousand miles from the ocean
and these days I walk into the New York morning
and carry a past I know by heart exactly but cannot find
the words to tell. In the dream, I walk the sands
of San Francisco and little Alcatrazes, slow-clawed
and cracked-shelled, wash onto the shoreline at night.
by Sarah V. Schweig
from The Boston Review