Finistère

The end of the earth is
what the French call their
Westernmost départment,
the tip of their beloved ground,

Where one can stand at
the edge of a rocky cliff
over rough seas, contemplating
a course to nowhere, the unknown,

With a stone in one’s pocket,
heavy, burdensome, worn smooth
with the distal phalanx of the
thumb in painful recollections,

And educational regret, or
the converse: a buoy of gratitude
and a truer understanding of
what we share, all of us.

My father described industriousness
as performing a task as if there was
no tomorrow, eagerly, frantically,
without restraint:

As one should perform every task,
as if encountered by the end of the earth,
touching foreheads with a loved one
over a deathbed, clutching hands.

If only such grace existed yesterday
And hindsight be wisdom, we could whisper
thanks and let many tomorrows be the product
of the hard-earned ground behind us.