The Cistern Yard

The Cistern Yard

Cistern Yard, College of Charleston

Cistern Yard, College of Charleston

Photograph by Jason Baxley

Finally these comforts, these heavy oaks
and husks of echoes. The pecan shell
in my palm is having trouble deciding itself
as the sun slides idle, pushing walkers
and buggies down the sloping street.
When we go, we get somewhere south
in hours. We choose this tradition.
We are not tourists. I know I wanted
something here, my feet stopped by bricks,
an urge. It’s all I can do not to think of it,
the rungs in the air between trees,
the same bird color of moss and feather
I know from before. This route we always
return to. Even as we walk away,
we are only just coming back to the well
and its bulb openings of palmetto trees.
Morning has passed, and there are now
things here recovered to dream inside.
A memory sense of losing ground,
as I hold my voice in front like a porch.
We have buried our knees in the grass.
We tell each other these measurements
of heritage, by keys buried into
the sidewalk, by the weight of water,
or peninsula, by what remains.

                    – Gale Marie Thompson ’08