Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Woman Contemplates The Water Cooler

Trapped in a glass lung,
water waits to be drawn
then sipped between gossip
and complaints.

Its spirit reduced
to these shared
ounces and hours
in an office

which should be
a stream or river
polishing stones, soaking through
tree roots and keeping
the earth cool

while fragments of former lives
lie embedded
among shoots of new growth.

My tendons are  stems
stretching , binding  movement
to wind and  light,
white pines and old world sparrows.

North Carolina
calls me back. Her breath
history deep, a hearth
exposed on a hill

where there’s enough
shards of clay and wood
 to comprise
the rattle’s shake for rain
or healing.

Where a woman stirred
pots and carved dolls
with a paring knife,

her fingers scented
with tea olive, limber
as the bark of a sapling.

I was not born there
but born of her.

Her ancestry ringed
around those joints
that let me travel
telling my bones

their song is the song
of the seeker, the wood wife
who sleeps on the ground
and listens for water --

the course of her next journey.

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