Leaving Devon Island

by Meredith L. Patterson

Originally appeared in Pif, October 1999.

I'm getting kinda tired of natural beauty.
I mean, it's nice; and I don't mind the dirt
And sun and wind too much, and I've been after
Some peace and quiet long enough that this
Is overdue. But, still, I've had enough.
I've walked on ice and slept on pointy rocks
Sufficiently, and seen the Arctic terns
And foxes run for cover far too often
To think that Nature wants me here at all.
Why would it? Nature's not a thing that wants.
The mice and lemmings go their own way here;
they do not care for wayward nerds.
                                               I thought,
one morning that I couldn't tell from night,
that I'd be glad to go back to the city
because the city wants me. That's wrong too.
It doesn't, and the island doesn't either –
but I want it. I want a place someone
Designed with one deliberate goal in mind –
to make me feel at home. I don't recall
Just who referred to houses as "machines
For living in," but that guy had it right.
We had the earth at first, and it was firm
And lasting, but it wasn't what we needed.

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