Pat Riviere-Seel

Out Here

Loneliness is the poverty of self;
solitude is the richness of self.
— May Sarton

You ask if I am lonely

on this dead-end road

where a feral cat prowls fields

and the electric wind screams

like a spirit trapped

between this world and the next.

I tell you, loneliness is not fatal.

Longing is more dangerous.

Heat from the wood stove

never reaches the back bedroom

where I lie wrapped in shadows

from a lone apple tree.

I have learned to bank the ashes,

keep the coals alive all night.

Solitude soothes the loneliness

but the she-cat cries

for relief, alone

with her longings.

I fear one night I will stray

from the house naked and follow her

into the darkness.