Saturday, November 19, 2011

. saturday poem written for a sunday

the undergrowth

Sometimes my small sadness,
wound tight in my chest all week,
uncurls itself like a fern frond
and finds the forest lonely.

What’s the rule for sadness,
when there is nothing planned
for dinner, when the chemo’s
made her sleep all day, when
the ships come in with someone
else’s package.

How long do you let it grow?
I used to run down the gully
to hide among the undergrowth
and listen for the night owl’s
hollow call, the coyote. 

My heart was full of fear
and want and greed. I did not
yet know who I would be, or who
I would love, or who would be
taken from me and how.

I only knew the sound of my
father’s whistle, when he grew 
worried and wished for me 
to come back.

When it grows, my grief
is so lonely—
you’re not there.
Whistle and I will let it ease,
whistle and I will come back.

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