Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Fabulist



The stories of my father

sustain me. Our house was adobe.

He said spirits dwelt in the walls

because they were wrought

from clay and grass, sun and water,

elements of the land

that spoke in echoes heard

only by birds and mice. Those few

patient enough to listen.

 

A young girl

no higher than the sapling

in his garden, I uttered--

my house is abdomen.

About to correct me,

he hesitated then whispered, Yes,

your house of gut and bone.

Spirits sing in the walls

and you must listen.

 

They will guard you

against certain things:

the  dog that bites,

the gate that splinters,

the plant that stings,

the stranger who befriends you

with a warm hand and  sweet tongue.

 

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