The Road to Isla Negra

Road to Isla Negra

We live twice on the road to Isla Negra—
once in our dreams and once in our shoes.
Scent of the waves, a patch of open sky,
the innocent walking single file,
the cruel learning slowly—
toward which victory, what defeat?

The poet returns to us, to the world,
to the bell hanging in the back yard
at the starry door of the sea. He rings
for the neighbors and the exiles to join him,
and soon they arrive. Sitting in the small boat
anchored in gravel, they sail into the horizon,
toasting to pain and to joy, multiplying hope.

William O’Daly

Published in The Road to Isla Negra, Folded Word Press, 2015