This entry is part 63 of 73 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Winter 2011-12

When the hero of a thousand journeys is born, part of her soul spirals into a plant that her mother has made to take root in the soil. A sunflower, perhaps. Or a sapling that grows rapidly into a tree, leaning and breaking into blossom against the wind. Between every journey is a threshold. Birds bring news of what comes next, flashing their breasts like pennants rouged with coral or smoke. The stalk bends and straightens. The flower follows the sun’s ascent. The child climbs trees, runs across the grass, hair flying behind her like a sheet of night. Milk in the glass still has the sheen of alabaster. She does not stand in the light of the refrigerator, shifting weight from one foot to the other, mouth sleepless with frustration or ache or hunger. In old stories, the elders speak of warriors with heart: nakem; of growing wiser as growing in heart. Perhaps, what they mean is that capacity not only to survive what gusts in to level us all— Admit we’ve traced the fragile vein in the leaf, in the flower; seen it pulsing at the base of each other’s throats.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

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