Our history,
our lives together,
is held in tiny scraps
scattered across the expanse
and stored in countless libraries,
monuments, turns of phrases,
scars draping our hillsides,
hearts, surgeries,
attics, laws,

I wait for the damp,
seeping, November wind
to inhale its totality
(it cannot be resisted),
hold it in long enough
to unify and ferment it,
and then to let it go —
to release it again to the wild,
sweeping over the prairie,
twirling waves of wheat —
as something knowable,

And as we listen,
we let it swirl into us
so that we re-own and
re-embody it (and it us):
We peel and break it apart,
possess its metaphors,
allow it to enliven us,
rush to preserve it,
rescatter it into our own little
storage boxes,
as memory.

That it could enthrall always,
whole and intelligible,
uniting all listeners,
is perhaps too much to ask.
We must be ready
when the wind stirs.