This poem tells me it’s tame and local, but
wild enough to commune with earth, air, fire,
and water as if I didn’t exist.
Like the red fox who moved her kits under
my cousins’ backyard porch, it needs safety
enough to move closer, but no touching.
I lay my hands on pen and paper, and
the poem laughs. That is not me! it exclaims
as if it is a god I try to name.
The earth is at stake, it crows, not one fox,
one backyard, one sunset, one dogwood tree.
Could such arrogance lead to unity?
Here I sit among the tools of my life
frozen between extremes of fight and flight,
while an invisible force faces me.
A big black bird lands on the nearest pine
and waits. The wind stops, too, to see what’s next.
The roses need trimming, but I don’t move.
As if I asked, the answer comes: Because
you wouldn’t listen, no one would, to soft
words from us and those you looked down on.
We are all around you, waiting, sometimes
loudly, to be heard, to be respected.
I fear breathing will break this magic.
But as sun slips into night, and black bird
leaves, I feel a faint breeze. Under my hand
the words stand “Forget magic, we need you.”
My blog poems are rough drafts.
Please respect my copyright.
If you quote, credit this page.
© 2020 Susan L. Chast