California, Coming Home

Going back to the dry
yellow hills,
I had thought
to go back to a novel
I'd already read:
the ending tired,
but no longer familiar.
But I rolled through the Siskyous
into pouring rain that
washed away expectations;
washed in this older,
surprising familiarity.
The next day clear,
the sky blue and the earth gold.
The dust of my childhood
a comfortable blanket again.
The sun. The warmth.
The Pacific Ocean a glinting gem.
I turned the pages and
in the book found new words,
a new ending.
Not an ending,
a homecoming.