I un-learned to listen.
I trained a deaf ear, until after enough gentler tries,
the truths of this earth bludgeoned me back home.
how quickly will i forget again?
the reminders will take a thousand faces
ever new, ever the same,
to be with what is really real
what is hard,
the sharp edge of truth
as it cuts across the ragged edge of feeling.
i un-learned the sensitivity of whiskers
of a doe’s swiveling ear
the hare and the coyote both perfectly sharpened
to the glorious and the gory truths
of eating and being eaten.
i let what fine claws and bright knowing i am sure we are all born possessing
be dulled into submission,
not at all like the submission of a fawn to the teeth of a wolf
graceful and knowing,
but like the dulling of an ear to an ever-present scream.
for what my mortal word is worth,
i swear to you, oh holy holies,
that i will leave the thimbleful of milk—
i will prepare myself to beat the drum
to sit with both ears earnest to windsong
to ask the marsh what she knows,
to devour and be devoured by this hungering earth.
i know again that i need the ferocity
of howling fang-filled words
and emptied belly
and tremendous humbling of my over-proud fool’s heart—
with not a single true arrow to defend it—
to come home.
to come home