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After Travel
Gail Entrekin


When you return from your travels, those
who remember you went ask how it was.
They ask in the most general terms
meaning they would like the most general answer,
pleasant and short.  But if you are lucky, two or three
will be curious, or have time, or love you
enough to say, pulling forward a chair,
What were your three favorite things? or
What is the thing you will never forget? 
And then you will need to know
how to become a raconteur if you wish to share
anything at all from the great montage:
San Marco Square in moonlight,
bike riding in the freezing air along an Amsterdam
canal, the peasant woman in headscarf outside
your post-Yugoslavian complex in the bleak playground
of Lljubljana, her cloth bags, her large-eyed pale child,
your sense of isolation and the bitter cold.  You choose
your favorite days, sweet as apples in a green bowl,
or your terrible days, bitter as icy water rising up
your legs, but either way they’re really yours alone,
will go with you, finally,
when you go.


© by Gail Entrekin.
Used with the author's permission.



Gail Entrekin lives in the hills of San Francisco's East Bay, where she is a poet, a quilt designer and maker, a hiker (with her dog, Molly Bloom), an editor of Canary, a former teacher of creative writing and English, a singer-around-the-house, a caregiver for her husband (who is blind and has Parkinson's disease), a grandmother of six (“finally got a GIRL,” she crows!), a small-time gardener, and co-publisher (with her husband) of a small press called Hip Pocket Press.  Says Gail, “Most days I'm one happy woman!”


Post New Comment:
Wonderful details and true observation of the askers, once we are back home. Truyh here.
Posted 11/14/2018 07:40 PM
Wonderful! You made me feel as if I had just been on a journey with you, and I'm inspired to be a better storyteller.
Posted 11/14/2018 12:21 PM
I just loved your poem. The special details, the charm with which you wrote about your travels made me feel I was sitting across from you and was one of those that really did want the details. We talked and talked.
Posted 11/14/2018 10:55 AM
Yes, Having traveled extensively in Scotland, Belgium, France, and many months in Italy, I can happily agree that travel takes one out of oneself and into another happy dimension which lasts for a lifetime.
Posted 11/14/2018 10:39 AM
Lori Levy:
Great! Love the details, and I totally identify with this.
Posted 11/14/2018 10:13 AM
Oh, my. Beautiful.
Posted 11/14/2018 09:02 AM
Glen Sorestad:
Beautifully done, Gail. Great details from your trip, real or imagined.
Posted 11/14/2018 08:59 AM
Larry Schug:
I'd like to go on a road trip with you! You have a poet's eye.
Posted 11/14/2018 08:43 AM
michael escoubas:
I appreciate the tender wisdom of your poem, Gail. It is so human, so where we live.
Posted 11/14/2018 07:51 AM

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