Through evening air gardenia scented,
across new mown meadow and past wildflowers—
rocket larkspur, red poppy, black eyed yellow things,
the last wild onion blooms, and all the rest—
until finally, into the woods I wander and down to the creek,
so glad to be home after a long month’s absence.

In Hawaii I discovered amazing banyan trees,
acacias larger than any I’ve seen before,
and yellow hibiscus row on row, the island
entire awash in color, an extravaganza
of exotic plants, quite a show.

But home again, I revel in being right here, with all
the plants, the trees, the flowers, the grass, the vines,
even the weeds! So familiar, so much my own, my home,
this land, and I it’s lover, through and through.

Never mind the prickly things, the nettles that sting,
the mosquitoes and gnats, the creepy crawly poison snakes
the occasional scorpion, black widow, and all the rest;
last week’s paper even carried pictures of a captured alligator
strung up in a tree and measuring far longer
than any man is tall. They tell me there are no snakes
or poison things on the islands in that pacific sea,
but never mind. These scary things right here are mine,
and I’m back here to shudder at them in old familiar ways.

Earthsprings. Summer bears down with a vengeance.
Not my favorite time. Hot. Muggy. Buggy. All the rest.
But after traffic jams, high rise congestion, airport tarmac,
after the constant noise of city streets and too many people
crowded everywhere, elbow to elbow, I understand, yet again,
deeper than before, the value of this hideaway, this solitude,
this natural wild, and I’m glad to walk this way, alone, here,
between green boughs, beneath blue skies, along trails
so quiet the only sound’s the sacred rush of wind through pines
and the buzz of hummingbirds.

Welcome home, it all seems to say.
Welcome home, Glenda Little Hawk.
Welcome home today.

Glenda Taylor, 2004