by Kent Monroe
I am here this morning in these winter woods
to pry glacial stones from the ground,
to put my back into my desire for ceremony and beauty
and line this trail that ends where my dog lies.
I buried him deep, wrapped in my best sheet,
and now he dreams of my footsteps in the leaves.
This is how it is now:
I suck my thumb
in the womb of notions that comfort me.
In my pursuit of the sacred,
I have discovered the crows.
They are my brothers and sisters in spirit and song.
We sing today of the mysteries of love.
We sing now despite the rain,
the sharp wind against out skin and feathers.
We sing to the hardships before us—
the black day of tomorrow,
all the gathering, invisible sorrows.
We sing to the heartbeat in the egg,
and to the bones of the hand
that once traced the line of a woman’s face,
to the jaw that once flowered the lips that kissed her eyes.
He loved her! the crows sing.
He did! I agree in my most passionate tenor– and he left wanting more.
As we all do, they serenade, high in the silver trees.
Glory to the crows!
How they comfort me, how they comfort me
here in these burning leaves,
on this ground ensouled with the secrets of bones,
this dirt filled with yesterday’s love.
Glory to the burst of flowers to come!
Glory to footsteps beneath the drifting stars,
to the lover’s breath,
the gifted light of her eyes–
how it shakes you,
how you tremble with it even as you fall away.