That Faraway Place by Frances Boyle

 Poem name: That Faraway Place  Poet name: Frances Boyle  Poem begins: Slow pace of travel, your luggage  is packed for a longer sojourn,  lavender sprigs between the folds  of skirts and blouses. Trunks, solid  and strapped, immobile, for porters     to lift and heave, not finespun you.  Slow build to departure, weeks  of mending, tatting cuffs, adjusting  hems and lapels to the fashion  of that faraway place—tomorrow.     No wheels or escalators propel you  into your future life. No promise  of quick return. The gathering  at the platform—all your family,  your friends from school. A hush     filled with steam and chuff  as your destiny moves massive  towards you, its metal wheels  on metal track. The neat steps  placed, dusty travelers descend  with displaced faces.     Last press of bodies, mother’s  tear-dappled cheek, father’s hint  of spice. You rise quick, skirt edge  lifted, pull away to the mothdance  of handkerchiefs below your window.  End of poem.  Credits: Copyright © Frances Boyle  An earlier version of “That Faraway Place” was published (as “Massive”) in Ottawater (Issue 16, October 2020). It will be included in Openwork and Limestone by Frances Boyle, forthcoming with Frontenac House, Fall 2022.  Frances Boyle’s books include This White Nest (poetry, Quattro Books 2019) and Seeking Shade (short stories, The Porcupine’s Quill, 2020) shortlisted for the Danuta Gleed and ReLit Awards and winner of a Miramichi Reader Very Best! Award. Her third book of poetry, Openwork and Limestone will be published in 2022. Recent and forthcoming work appears in Blackbird, Paris Lit Up, Madrigal, The New Quarterly and elsewhere. Originally from Regina, Frances has long lived in Ottawa.