I never really left, those years my father
took us into wild country to nurse his wife,
his second wife, who needed thinner air
to spare her lungs. The doctor said the death
of Mama almost killed off Papa too.
I liked his second wife but missed my life:
magnolia moonlight, days of dappled heat.
I wed my loving banker, tidal shores,
and gracious sweet savannahs - - loved all three,
and my daughter. Evenings I would tell
her of a preacher exiled to the mountains.
from Oak and Mimosa by Alan Reynolds