Upon Reaching a Certain Age
So many departures of people I knew.
Their houses are still here,
their names beveled in granite elsewhere.
Now strangers unlock their doors.
Winter birds depart and return,
depart and return —
grebe, loon, goldeneye
while the star wheel turns
with the fecund hymn of the salmon.
We know its inexorable end.
Yet each autumn they return again
to perish and replenish their birth streams.
So many departures.
So many names and faces are gone.
On winter nights, though, you can see
their houselights are still on.
Mike Dillon lives in Indianola, Washington, a small town on Puget Sound northwest of Seattle. He is the author of four books of poetry and three books of haiku. Several of his haiku were included in "Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years", from W.W. Norton (2013). "Departures", a book of poetry and prose about the forced removal of Bainbridge Island's Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbor will be published by Unsolicited Press in April 2019