Saturday, March 22, 2014

Poet's Progress : Poem In Your Post

Poet's Progress

           for Sandra Cisneros

I haven't been
much of anywhere,
books my only voyage,
crossed no bodies
of water, seen anything
other than trees change,
birds take shape - like the rare
Bee Hummingbird that once hovered
over the promise of salsa
in my garden: a fur feathered
vision from Cuba in Boulder,
a wetback, stowaway, refugee,
farther from home than me.
Now, snow spatters its foreign
starch across the lawn gone
crisp with freeze.  I know
nothing tropical survives 
long in this season.  I pull
the last leeks from the frozen
earth, smell their slender
tubercular lives, stand
in the sleet whiteout 
of December:  roots
drawn in, threads of relatives
expand while solitude, the core,
that slick-headed fist of self, is 
cool as my dog's nose and pungent
with resistance.  Now when
the red-bellied woodpecker
calls his response to a California
owl, now, when the wound
transformer in the womb
slackens, and I wait
for potential: all
the lives I have
yet to name,
all my life
I have willed into being
alive and brittle with the icy
past.  And it's enough now,
listening, counting the unknown
arachnids and hormigas
who share my love of less
sweeping.  For this is what
I wanted, come to, left
alone with anything
but the girlhood horrors,
the touching, the hungry
leaden meltdown of the hours.
Or the future - a round negation,
black suction of the heart's 
conception.  Save me
from a stupid life!  I prayed.
Leave me anything but
a stupid life.
And that's poetry.  

                       - Lorna Dee Cervantes

Sometimes, rather than leading me into a reflection of my life, a poet lifts me out of my own time, place, and experience and sets me down intimately into another.  

I haven't lived what Cervantes is alluding to here, but I am transported into her (or her speaker's) consciousness long enough to experience these moments from within her awareness.  

For a short space of time, it's December in Boulder, and I haven't traveled, and I've seen a Bee Hummingbird, shared spaces with spiders, and prayed for a future that is, at least, not stupid. 

And now I'm returned to the present moment, sitting on my sofa in grey mid-March, looking out at my one black hen under her lichen-riddled plum tree as it reaches through the back fence, just about to burst into bloom.

MFB,
L

2 comments:

Anne Bennett said...

I agree with the poet. I want to be saved from a stupid life. I want to do things that matter and to be remembered for that. Thanks for the poem today!

Laurie said...

I suppose I agree with you about that, Anne: few of us would wish for "a stupid life" or an entirely anonymous one!

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