You can’t see the pain at first
even though you squint your
eyes and cross them just enough,
blurring the vision to pinpoint
the stubborn location.
The pain is recognizable and
pricks you from the inside since
the external source is hiding.
You use your other fingers to squish
the plump pulsing pinky.
You wonder if the sudden sensitivity,
and blotched area beside the nail
is from pitching it too hard. You hope
the pain isn’t infected,
having heard horror stories of diseases
transmitted from sweaty gym benches
or overused ellipticals. You try to
refocus and ignore the slighted
stinging sensation but you’re drawn
to your pinky noticing an appearing thin red line.
You’d never think to pay much attention
to grass. Yet, it is there, reaching
from the earth like earth’s fingers,
touching everything twice
as if earth were blind. Wyeth
paints shadows but no sun—light
is brightest on her back,
as her left hand grabs
for a clump of straw-like grass.
You’d never think to crawl
home. Yet, someone has to,
with calloused hands and loosened
threads. Hands are the almighty
if you know how to use
them correctly. Wrapped
in pink dirt, she drags the earth
along, inviting it to her home
a few fields away.
You’d never think to paint
a woman crawling to her house,
every hair on her head defined,
each blade of grass a different shade,
her shoes untied. Yet, she carries
the sun on her back so paint her
someone must. She, never lowering
her head, thinks of reading
by the fire before bed.
Rain drags down the glass of a windowpane,
but you don’t notice. The only thing you see
are your own eyes staring back steady
as they hover in that transparent void,
a glass prison that they’ve employed
to ensure they’d never move again.
Transfixed by the white noise falling
around, your mind follows suit,
sitting there so long about to take root
on that worn-out window seat.
You feel the noise tingle in your feet,
but you stay. You never think how calming
a rainy day actually is until you find
yourself staring at blurred lights
through streaks running down right
in front of you. You are refreshed
and renewed with each drop left--
a hypnotic cure the earth designed.
You peer through the glass at the blurred
edges of the world, dazed by how
peaceful it is. You’ve realized now
From your time sitting there
you’ve never seen the world so clear.
Those hazy edges have you cured.
-- In Which Dog Remembers a Past Life:
Dog, crash through the undergrowth in exuberance.
Smell all, hear all, see all, and remember --
Not in your mind, but in your very bones.
Some things stay in the genes forever.
-- In Which Beaver Builds His Home
Build your walls and your roof, beaver,
And don't let your neighbors tear it down.
For with the change in scenery
Comes a determined promise of permanence.
-- In Which Fish Dreams of Clarity
Swim through the murky waters, little fish,
And dream of breathing easy. But keep your eyes closed,
For the river is not what it used to be
And reality may shatter any hopes of dreams.
-- In Which Raccoon Decides to Diet
Scuttle out into a world of concrete
And know that here, at least, food is abundant.
Yes, raccoon, this is not where you belong,
But "belonging" must change to suit survival.
-- And In Which Sparrow Feels Mighty
Look down at the world below, sparrow,
And marvel at the smallness of it all.
But should you focus on it too long, little bird,
You will find there are other beasts in the sky.