this place in the pine I went to be by myself,
what you call alone, dust settling quiet,
your kind of silence, a tongue stopped talking,
birds starting up and as quickly stopping
with rustling in the grass between the trees
sounding everywhere and nowhere at once . . .
I didn’t have to listen but I heard the sun
caressed by the wind, its yellow ripple and flow
down the bellies of clouds to touch my skin.
I could be any animal I wished,
I was that young. I walked on all four legs
though two were hands where I should have had feet.
All that was before I started thinking.
I thought I could live out there forever
and did until I heard the far-off call
to come home, Drusilla, come home . . .
Where there were no paths I made one
walking to and fro, from dawn into dusk
because no one knew where I was,
the earth was green and my dry soul fruitful.
But you did not know for you never asked.
You had no time, beloved, nor did I
know any answers to the keen questions
of how to grow by sleeping and eating
and harvesting what the land had to yield.
No, I knew only what you called a spell.
What you taught me to learn the words to say
and once they were out it became too late,
the day crawling into its cave called night.
This house smelled of skin you wrapped around me.
When you kissed my lips you were my mother.
I once woke from my father’s bellowing.
When I wandered to where the sound was
quiet he was what you said was called gone.
You said for good. I knew good never lasts.
I was always growing and changing fast.
Once you taught me how to please the moon man.
Roll on your back with your two legs lifted
to let him go inside where his bright face
looks deep down to the source of you and me.
(24 October 2012)
copyright 2012 by Floyce Alexander